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What components make up an IT infrastructure, and how do they work together?

Q:

What components make up an IT infrastructure, and how do they work together?

A:

IT infrastructure is the combination of hardware, software, network and human resources that allow an organization to deliver information technology services to people within an organization.

There are several key components in IT infrastructure.

The most obvious is hardware. Without any hardware, it’s impossible to have any IT services at all. An organization needs desktop computers, servers, routers, switches and other equipment.

Hardware is useless without software. Software is just as important to IT infrastructure as hardware. Typical software in an organization includes productivity applications, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). Some of these applications might be bought off the shelf and others might be developed by the IT department, depending on the needs of the organization.

The internet is essential to conducting modern business. That’s why network connectivity has become essential, since employees depend on email, web access, even their phone service through VoIP. A network connection is an absolute must. Plus, think of how many other machines have to be connected together. That means running wires and setting up networking hubs, switches and routers.

The most important is the human element, also jokingly called “meatware.” This refers to the people in charge of all the other parts of IT infrastructure. IT professionals, whether developers, system administrators or network administrators, look at an organization’s needs and determine what hardware and software will do the job. Can they just buy an existing solution or would they have to develop something from scratch? Should they pick on premises-solution or go to the cloud? These are the kinds of questions that IT people should know how to answer.

Every one of these components in an IT infrastructure depend on another. An organization needs hardware, software and networking to function and the other components are useless without humans to buy them, configure them and keep them running smoothly.

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David Delony
Profile Picture of David Delony David Delony is a Bay Area expatriate living in Ashland, Oregon, where he combines his love of words and technology in his career as a freelance writer. He's covered everything from TV commercials to video games. David holds a B.A. in communication from California Sate University, East Bay.
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