Information is generated by processing facts. These facts are represented by symbols such as alphabets, digits, diagrams, graphs, and pictures, which are popularly known as data. To develop services for generating information, data processing resources or IT resources are needed. The IT resources can be classified into four categories: hardware, software, data, and human resources.
The first type of IT resource is Computer hardware as it refers to computer systems and other associated equipment, including communication links that a modern IT installation may need. To determine the hardware resource requirements, it is necessary to assess the nature of IT needs, volume of data to be processed, sources of data, complexity of data analysis, and impact of related factors. Demands from IT infrastructure increase as the IT infrastructure matures in any enterprise. Due to the high rate of obsolescence in the computer industry and downward trends in hardware prices, it is advisable to keep the plan period for computational needs as short as possible.
programs are collectively called computer software. Software determines what the hardware does and makes the hardware perform. Software is a vital IT resource and must be carefully selected and maintained. Improper selection of software may become a significant cause of failure of an IT infrastructure in achieving its objectives. Unlike computer hardware, software acquisition is a slow process involving persistent effort for acquisition, maintenance, and improvement. A rich library of well-tested software packages to meet the information needs of an enterprise is a valuable resource for any IT infrastructure.
The third type of IT Resources is Data as they are the collections of facts or events represented in the form of symbols, such as digits, alphabets, pictures, and graphs. Capturing, processing, and storage of data are the essential functions of any IT infrastructure. Data are the basic raw materials in the process of generating information. Data may be collected from internal and external sources. Proper integration of internal and external data is essential for the generation of quality information. Most of the data are acquired over a period of time, and it takes a long time to acquire internal data. Data recorded on magnetic media are more prone to risks of physical security and privacy.
The effectiveness of an IT infrastructure is a function of the type of IT personnel available to it. Human resources are critical in the effectiveness of an IT infrastructure as information generated is meant for guiding action in the enterprise. Hardware is very sensitive equipment, and software and data are intangible and fragile. Qualities like competence, honesty, and reliability are critical to any work environment. Since the information generated with the help of IT infrastructure is meant for guiding action in the enterprise, any flaw in generation of information can prove costly. There is a wide gap between the demand and supply of computer professionals, and as a result, turnover of IT employees is perhaps the highest.
Classification of IT Resources
|Computer Hardware||Computer systems and associated equipment, including communication links|
|Software||Sets of inter-related computer programs|
|Data||Collections of facts or events represented in symbols|
|Human Resources||Type of IT personnel available to the IT infrastructure|
Conclusion on IT Resources Types
The four types of IT resources, computer hardware, software, data, and human resources, are essential in the development of an IT infrastructure. To plan an IT infrastructure, a manager must be aware of the features and significance of each of these resources. Proper selection and maintenance of these resources will ensure the effectiveness of an IT infrastructure in generating quality information for the enterprise.