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What Is IT Infrastructure Management?

By DeVry University

April 5, 2023

6 min read

Effective IT infrastructure management is critical to the operation of customer-facing IT services in organizations, both big and small. At the center of this environment is the IT infrastructure manager, who is responsible for the design, installation and maintenance of a company’s IT infrastructure and the personnel who keep it all working securely and without disruption.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of modern IT infrastructure and examine the IT infrastructure manager’s role. We’ll also discuss the projected job growth in this occupation and examine the education and skills you need to pursue a career in IT infrastructure management.

IT Infrastructure Overview

Many aspects of today’s businesses are infused with, and dependent upon, the information technology that enables us to improve communication, create new operational and management efficiencies and increase productivity, especially when it is appropriately networked.

The two core components of any IT infrastructure are hardware and software. Hardware components include desktop computers, hubs, routers and switches, servers and the facilities that house them. Software components like operating systems (OS), content management systems (CMS), customer relationship management (CRM) systems and web servers work interdependently with hardware.

The physical space required for traditional IT infrastructure is generally referred to as its facilities. This could include anything from a small server room within a suite of offices to a huge, stand-alone data center. Facilities also include the network cabling that connects components of the system in office buildings.

Types of IT Infrastructure

The two primary types of IT infrastructure are traditional and cloud:

  • Traditional infrastructure:

    Typically installed on-premises for a company’s private use, traditional infrastructure is made up of the usual hardware and software components described above, and all the cabling and switching required to enable multiple workstations to be connected on a network. The company is responsible for purchasing, installing, maintaining and troubleshooting all of the components in the system, which can make traditional infrastructure a more costly option in terms of capital investment, power consumption and space requirements.

  • Cloud infrastructure: 

    In cloud infrastructure, or cloud computing, end users access their infrastructure virtually by using a cloud services provider such as AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud. A methodology called virtualization allows end users to use computing resources from the cloud, rather than installing them on their own premises. Authorized users can access files and applications from any location where they have internet access. This type of infrastructure is often referred to as a public cloud.

The Role of an IT Infrastructure Manager

IT infrastructure managers are typically employed in organizations that have sizable, self-contained networks. This could include large private-sector corporations or government agencies, or IT management firms where they would work for multiple end-user clients. They fulfill an important management role by overseeing IT employees, keeping network management costs within budget and monitoring network functionality. They also ensure the right tools and people are in place to effectively manage and monitor computer network infrastructure and IT services, and function as a liaison between the IT department and other managers or stakeholders.

Duties and Responsibilities

A variety of technical and non-technical duties that make up an IT infrastructure manager’s job description include:

  • Maximize system uptime:

    Keeping IT networks up and running is crucial to keeping normal business operations maintained and making sure users on the network are able to perform their day-to-day functions, such as using networked applications and sending and receiving emails. 

  • Protect data:

    IT infrastructure managers may also be expected to contribute to the protection of sensitive data by collaborating with cyber security professionals like security analysts and penetration testers to uncover vulnerabilities and develop security plans.

  • Keep accurate records:

    System repairs, software updates, network irregularities and other occurrences must be meticulously documented.

  • Influence non-technical stakeholders:

    IT infrastructure managers must collaborate with people from other departments and use superior communication skills to convey technical information to non-technical personnel. This may also involve making presentations to groups.

  • Define goals and meet them:

    IT infrastructure managers determine how success will be measured relative to the health and functionality of the network. This will involve setting performance goals based on the needs of the network’s users and evaluating performance based on those metrics. 

Infrastructure Manager Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates considerable demand for computer and information systems managers throughout the next decade due to business’ continuing reliance on IT services and the need to implement stronger security measures to respond to increasing cyber security threats.

BLS projects employment of computer and information systems managers to grow 16% on a national level between 2021 and  2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.1 It should also be noted that this growth may vary by location, and that BLS projections are not specific to DeVry’s students or graduates. These projections may also include earners at all stages of their career and not just entry level. 

IT Manager Education Requirements

According to the BLS, computer and information systems managers typically need to have earned a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as computer and information technology or engineering technologies. Many organizations require their computer and information systems managers to have a graduate degree as well. Information systems managers typically need several years of job experience as well, with less experience required for lower-level management jobs and increasing experience typically required the higher up you go.

Earning a master’s degree or technology-focused MBA degree can help you prepare to pursue an IT career in several ways. At DeVry, our online Master’s in Information Technology Management program can help you gain people-management skills while improving your technical knowledge of information systems and networking technologies. This master’s degree can be customized with your choice of two program emphases: Data Administration and Management, or Information Security.

A technology-focused MBA might also help you as you prepare to pursue managerial or leadership positions in this field. Blending management theory with real-world technical applications, our MBA Information Systems Management Specialization can help you develop your skills in corporate management and collaboration while giving you an opportunity to sharpen your tech skills and explore topics related to the implementation and maintenance of computer networks.

IT Infrastructure Manager Skills

To prepare to pursue a career as an IT infrastructure manager, you should develop a combination of skills that enable you to balance your technical capabilities with the collaborative and analytical skills the job requires.

On the technical side, professionals in this role should be knowledgeable in the principles of IT, familiar with the various hardware components that comprise computer networks, and proficient in operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows and Linux. Soft skills, like strong written and verbal communication, presentation skills and organizational and analytical skills, are also typically needed.

Level Up or Branch Out With DeVry

Explore new opportunities or level up your skills in IT management by earning a degree with DeVry. Our online Master’s in Information Technology Management includes coursework in data analysis, data privacy and security, database management, business analytics and management skills. You can also customize your degree with one of our two emphases: Data Administration and Management, or Information Security. 

1https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm 

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