The moon sails through space in an asynchronous orbit of the Earth, which means when we gaze upon the night sky we always see the same face shining down from the expanse above us. An obvious ball of light that waxes and wanes, and invites yet sometimes intimidates us. Concealing in its wake the unknown. We can’t see past the obvious of its presence, to see what lies behind it.
In many ways our common vision of the information technology (IT) infrastructure, that surrounds us, is like that. Behind the wiz of buttons, blinking lights, and increased productivity lurks an unseen expanse that can appear unknown and threatening to us. The mystery of IT infrastructure can sometimes paralyze us, or otherwise incline us to the idea that every problem is a technical problem; the notion that something isn’t working right is prevalent.
Is our inclination to blame the hardware correct though? I would argue the answer to that question is no. However, to arrive at that answer our understanding of the term IT infrastructure needs to be expanded.
Instead of relying solely on a technical understanding of IT infrastructure, we need to construct an inclusive model involving a human element. More than just a collection of integrated hardware and software components that support operating a company, the IT infrastructure also includes diverse company wide services that are arranged at the behest of management. These services include both human and technical functions and are essential to the successful implementation, use, maintenance, and evolution of IT solutions (Laudon & Laudon, 2014).
The services we are discussing are comprised of the following:
- Computing platforms.
- Telecommunications services.
- Data management services.
- Application software services
- Physical facilities management services.
- IT management services.
- IT standards services.
- IT education services.
- IT research and development services.
(Laudon & Laudon, 2014)
To discuss all of these points in detail would take up far more digital ink than is required by this post, but of specific importance is IT education services.
If a company is aggressive in designing and implementing IT solutions, it should also be diligent in ensuring its people are fully trained in the use and application of the systems that it puts in place. Failure in this area can result in stifled productivity, over reliance on expert IT staff to resolve issues, and at worst failed implementation of new solutions.
So back to our analogy.
To circumvent the expansive problems, hidden behind our electronic gizmotry, we are wise to observe IT infrastructure as a holistic system existing of both human and technical elements. If we do so we can then overcome the obstacles we face by skillful development and use of IT education services within the firm.