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Production-Quality IT Infrastructure

A common infrastructure problem in many corporations arises from decentralization. Different parts of the IT infrastructure are often built and operated by different organizational units. The key problem is that overall control and management are not coordinated. As a result, most organizations end up operating with technology infrastructures that have evolved ad hoc, and are difficult and costly to manage and control.

The production-quality IT infrastructure spans all organizational boundaries. It affects the whole organization. It supports diverse requirements of the entire enterprise; in doing so, the IT infrastructure allows groups throughout the organization to share files, applications, databases, and other computing resources. It also lets users access key sources of information and business-critical applications on the Internet, mainframes, and client/server systems. The production-quality IT infrastructure raises workgroups to a level where they span the entire organization.

The production-quality IT infrastructure is integrated, global, dynamic, and provides high service levels. Using common facilities, it provides a way to access different types of applications, services, and information such as data, images, voice, and video. In some case, users have access only to specific applications. For example, some organizations have two networks: one for access to legacy mainframe applications and another for access to Internet and client/server systems, desktop productivity tools, and shared services. What good are those Internet and client/server apps and productivity tools when all the important corporate information is buried in the mainframe data warehouse? By definition, the production-quality IT infrastructure gives users "reasonable access" to all data and applications. This means that users have easy, reliable, and timely access to data and applications without having to understand the underlying technology architectures.

Being global, the scope of the production-quality IT infrastructure extends beyond the organizational boundaries. There is far more information about your customers and competitors available on global systems than your internal network can contain or manage. Users can access important sources of information and other key resources anywhere in the world, any time.

For your organization to adapt and survive in a fast-paced international and competitive environment, it depends on an IT infrastructure that's also adaptable. The production-quality IT infrastructure is dynamic, flexible, and extensible, so it changes as your organization and its environment change. The production-quality IT infrastructure can support current requirements as well as future enhancements without major modifications. It can change as user requirements and technology change. For example, future IT architectures should support more than simple data, to include multimedia applications without major remodeling.

Since the IT infrastructure is a strategic asset, it must have production qualities. A production-quality IT infrastructure has the levels of availability, performance, and security that your organization requires to achieve its strategic objectives. This simply means that it's manageable and supports your mission-critical applications and other production systems.

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