5.1 IT Infrastructure
It infrastructure: Set of physical devices and software required to operate the
-Shared technology resources that provide the platform for the firm’s specific
information system applications. Includes investments in hardware, software, and
services such as consulting, education and training.
-Diagram on page 141,144,
-Technology Drivers of Infrastructure:
Moore’s Law and micro processing power: the doubling of processing unit of
computer power in 18 months or more. This will make it more affordable and make
the computer more efficient. The price of computing falls by half every 18 months.
The Law of Mass Digital Storage: The amount of digital information is roughly
doubling every year. The cost of storage is falling at an exponential rate of 100
percent every year.
Metcalfe’s Law and Network Economics: The value of a network grows
exponentially as a function of the number of network members
Computer Hardware Platforms: Client machines (desktops, laptops and PDAs).
Mainframes systems used as giant servers for enterprise networks and corporate
Operating System Platforms: Microsoft Windows dominates the market of client
machine software. Unix or Linux widely used as server software. Linux is available
as open-source software. Job is to a specialized type of software used to manage the
computing and users environment.
Enterprise Software Applications: allows data to be used by multiple functions and
Data management and storage: Responsible for organizing and managing the firm’s
data so that they can be efficiently accessed and used.
Networking/Telecommunications Platforms: Leading network hardware providers
are Cisco, Lucent, Nortel, and Juniper, Software leaders are Microsoft, Novell, Linux,
and Unix, Service vendors include Bell Canada, Primus, and regional carriers,
Growth of wireless and Voice over IP (VoIP).
Internet Platforms: Hardware, software, management services to support company
web sites, intranets, extranets. Consulting and System Integration Services: Large firms do not have resources for
full range of support for new, complex infrastructure. Software integration is
ensuring new infrastructure works with legacy systems. Legacy systems are older
TPS created for mainframes that would be too costly to replace or redesign. Legacy
system can also refer to any older system no matter what infrastructure it uses,
replacing older systems can be cost-prohibitive and most often unnecessary if the
systems can be integrated into a contemporary infrastructure.
The emerging mobile digital platform: Cell phones, smartphones have assumed data
transmission, web surfing, email and IM duties. Netbooks: small, low-cost
lightweight notebooks optimized for wireless communication and core computing
Grid Computing: involves connection geographically remote computers into a single
network capable of working in parallel on business problems that requires short-
term access to large computational capacity.
Virtualization: presents a set of computing resources (such as computing power or
data storage) so that they can all be accessed in ways that are not restricted by
physical configuration or geographic location.
Cloud Computing: enables firms and individuals to obtain computer processing,
storage, software and other services as a pool of virtualized resources over a
network, primarily the internet. Three branches: Software as a service,
Infrastructure as a service and Platform as a service. They are either Public or
Green Computing: Practices and technologies for manufacturing, using, disposing of
computing and networking hardware
High- Performance and Power-Saving Processors: Multi core processors.
Autonomic Computing: Industry-wide effort to develop systems that can configure,
heal themselves when broken, and protect themselves from outside intruders,
Similar to self-updating antivirus software; Apple and Microsoft both use automatic
Linux and Open Sources Software: is free and can be modified by users. Developed
and maintained by a worldwide network of programmers and designers under the
management of user communities. Linux is the most widely used