If you’re not digital, you don’t exist. That’s the theme of business in the modern day.

IT infrastructure is at the heart of every business now. It has become an inescapable part of modern business life, from small businesses all the way up to megacorporations. That’s why there’s more online discourse about enterprise IT than you could read in a lifetime. Yet none of those guides seem to start small.

So…what is IT infrastructure, anyway? The answer is deceptively simple.

What Is IT Infrastructure?

“IT infrastructure” is nothing more than a slightly jargony way to describe the digital technology that underpins your business.

Your business has many foundational elements—the building it occupies, the workforce it employs, and so on. IT infrastructure is your technological business foundation. You’ll leverage your IT infrastructure every day to achieve your business aims.

The basic makeup of your IT infrastructure includes many different components working in tandem. There are your devices like desktop computers and smartphones. There’s your storage, whether that’s on-site servers, cloud storage, or a mixture of the two. Then there’s the software, like your operating system and any industry-specific software you use.

A growing concern in IT infrastructure is the question of security. Cybercrime has become one of the largest existential threats to modern businesses and keeping up with the latest developments can be tough.

Approaches to IT Infrastructure

With IT infrastructure defined, it’s time to look at how businesses build their IT infrastructure.

There are two main ways to set up your IT, plus some overlap in the middle. The two methods are in-house management and managed IT services.

The first method involves managing all of your IT needs within your business. You employ an IT team, purchase all the equipment you need, and deal with any IT issues as they arise.

The alternative is professional IT services, also called managed services. This is a way of contracting some or all of your IT needs out to a specialist provider. The exact structure of managed services depends on your business needs and how much you wish to remain in-house.

IT Infrastructure vs Network Infrastructure

If you’re not comfortable with IT jargon, you may still be wondering: what’s the difference between IT infrastructure and network infrastructure?

It’s simple: network infrastructure is a sub-category of IT and deals specifically with device connectivity. In other words, the part of your IT that connects devices to each other and to the wider world.

The focus on network infrastructure has only grown with the march of technology. Now that many businesses use network technologies like cloud computing and remote working, connectivity has become almost inseparable from IT infrastructure. Even the most basic enterprise IT usually features network infrastructure.

IT Infrastructure Explained

If you’ve been scratching your head and wondering “what is IT infrastructure, anyway?” even as you’re expected to understand more advanced jargon, then everything should be clearer now. It’s a nice reminder that even complex-sounding IT terms are often surprisingly simple at their core.

Looking for more simple guides to business? Make sure to check back often to see what’s new.

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