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Managing Information System Infrastructure Issues

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Managing Information System Infrastructure Issues
Iris Goldston
CMGT 445
Charlie Neuman
May 4, 2013

Managing an Information System Infrastructure is a difficult task that involves many facets and therefore many possible issues. An extreme advance in information technology is enabling business to have many opportunities. The advancement has brought about many challenges from obsolete hardware and software issues such as when to upgrade and how to ever increasing need for storage space. Energy consumption to support the new technology is expensive and therefore affects the bottom line of any business. The challenge to consume less energy and save money is an important concern, especially when going green builds consumer loyalty. As the need to keep up with new technology to keep or gain a competitive advantage, companies have to decide whether to build, rent, or simply maintain a facility to support its hardware. And finally, as with any business supply and demand fluctuates and with this comes the question of how to scale the power uses of an IS infrastructure.

Configuration and Preventative Maintenance Configuring an Information System (IS) infrastructure involves hardware, software, communications and collaborations networks, database, human resources, and security. Preventative maintenance should include flexibility, strategic, and tactical planning. The hardware is all monitors, servers, mainframes, keyboards, desktops, and in some cases mobile devices to connect to the intranet. Software is an application that allows communications between the user and the hardware. Both hardware and software eventually become obsolete as the company grows and technology advances. Managers of IS infrastructure should take into account ‘planned obsolescence’ and when to upgrade. Software and hardware developers’ planned obsolescence is when the manufacture declares that a product has a life span, and at the end of the life span the hardware is no longer serviceable or the software is no longer supported. In many cases the newer version of the software is not compatible with the older version. For example, Windows XP operating system ended in 2009, but the paid support and security updates ends in 2014. This will force all companies that use Windows XP to upgrades to Windows 7. The upgrade, although productive, will be a large cost. Disposing of and replacing hardware is very expensive also. As the consumer base increases the company facilities has to expand to store the data necessary for analysis and forecasting. Purchasing larger servers, databases, and mainframes will be an additional expense as the company grows.
Industry Standards
“The Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 mandates that an agency’s CIO develop, maintain, and facilitate the implementation of an information technology (IT) architecture. Further, the E-Government Act of 2002 requires OMB to oversee the development of enterprise architectures within and across agencies” (“DOD business enterprise architecture; long-standing weaknesses in enterprise architecture,” 2005, p 6).
Just as there are codes to build a house, there are codes to building an IS infrastructure. Industry standards and frameworks are specified as follows: TIA606A refers to the cabling installation and administration. TIA942 refers to the design of the data centers. ANSI/BICSI-002 refers to the design and implementation of data centers. ISO20000/ITIL refers to the service management. CoBit refers to the governance and control. ISO27001 refers to the security of the system. (Firth, 2011)
Many companies have become global industries with the advancement of technology. Companies can reach consumers all over the world due to the advancement of the Internet. The industry standards enable communications to prevail across the Web. Security risks have increased also because of the Internet.
New technology is making communication around the world almost instantaneous. Email, faxes, instant messaging, and video conferencing over the Internet save time and money. The world as we know it is metaphorically shrinking. “As countries are connected to the rest of the world (through increased communication and transportation) they immediately form what a business would call a market. What this means is that a particular population represents more people to buy a particular product or service. As more and more markets are opening up, business people from around the globe are coming together to form multinational corporations in order to access these new markets ”(Stief, 2013). According to University of Phoenix Information System Today: Managing in the Digital World (2012), “For organizations operating globally, managing a comprehensive, worldwide infrastructure poses additional challenges”. Considerations to have an uninterrupted supply of power, water, and in most circumstances, a satellite link to ensure reliability if a company wants to build an infrastructure in a developing nation. There are additional sources to connect to consumers around the world and save money on building an infrastructure. Outsourcing has positive and negative aspects. Outsourcing jobs to other nations leads to higher unemployment in the area of business. At the same time, outsourcing saves the company money by being more efficient. Utility computing was created by IBM which enables a company to rent resources such as data storage, processing, and networking from an external provider, and the company pays on an as-needed basis. The utility model is effective for managing costs as demand fluctuates affecting the benefits in terms of scalability. Cloud computing is defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as “a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction” ("NIST Cloud Computing Program", 2010). Infrastructure costs are transformed from a capital expenditure to an operational expense when a business uses cloud computing or utility computing.
Both computing models enable a business to go Green by saving power. Being conscious of the environment fosters consumer loyalty while reducing costs of energy for a business. Computers consume huge amounts of electricity while generating heat, and they must be kept cool, causing an even higher electric bill. Installation of solar panels has become more popular to offset the cost of electricity for businesses.
Information Technology (IT) training depends on the system that is being used or upgraded to by a business. Some training is vendor specific such as Microsoft or Cisco certified. Vendors such as these offer training and certifications. Other training may be generic in that it could apply to all IT infrastructures. Training can be applied through virtual classrooms (online) or in a classroom setting. Either way, a company should invest in training on an ongoing basis to keep personnel knowledgeable about current and new forms of technology.

DOD business enterprise architecture; long-standing weaknesses in enterprise architecture . (2005). GAO reports, (), 1-69.
Firth, N. R. (2011). Infrastructure configuration managing techniques. Retrieved from NIST Cloud computing program. (2010). Retrieved from
Stief, C. (2013). Globalization: an overview of globalization and its positive and negative aspects. Retrieved from
University of Phoenix. (2012). Information system today; managing in the digital world. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, CMGT445 website.

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