IT Resources

12/06/2020 1 By indiafreenotes

Information is generated by processing facts. These facts may be represented by symbols, such as alphabets, digits, diagrams, graphs, pictures, etc. and they are popularly know as data. For the purpose of developing services for generation of information, one would need data processing resources or IT resources.

These resources may be broadly classified into four categories, namely, hardware, soft­ware, data and human resources. It is essential for a manager to be aware of the features and significance of each of these resources. Such awareness will not only help the manager to plan the IT infrastructure but also to assess the cost of the IT infrastructure.

  1. Computer hardware

Computer hardware refers to computer sys­tems and other associated equipment including the communica­tion links that a modern IT installation may need. With the rapid advancement in computer hardware technology, a large variety of computer. Systems with varying sizes, speeds and functional fea­tures are available.

To be able to determine the hardware resource requirements, it is necessary to properly assess the nature of IT needs, the volume of data to be processed, sources of data, complex­ity of data analysis and impact of other related factors. Such an assessment should also make provision for expected changes in these factors in the Future.

In fact, demands from IT infrastructure in­crease as the-IT infrastructure matures in any enterprise. As the IT infrastructure is used, people in the enterprise get familiar with the system, its applications and benefits. Similarly, with the in­creased use of IT infrastructure, new applications are developed and existing applications are improved upon in the light of the feed­back received.

This results in increased demand from the IT infra­structure. It is, therefore, advisable to make sufficient provision for such increase in the demands from the infrastructure. Due to very high rate of obsolescence in the computer industry and downward trends in prices of hardware, it is advisable to keep the plan period for computational needs as short as possible. These and other re­lated issues regarding the design of IT infrastructure shall be taken up later in the book.

  1. Software

Putting it simply, sets of inter-related computer pro­grams are collectively called computer software. Software is life­line of the IT infrastructure and it makes the computer hardware function. Software determines what the hardware does and makes the hardware perform.

Software, thus, is a very important IT resource and must be carefully selected and properly maintained. Software, being intangible, sometimes gets a back seat in planning for an IT infrastructure. In fact, improper selection of software may become a major 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 information needs of an enterprise is a valuable resource for any IT infrastructure.

Computer software can, in fact, protect the IT infrastructure against the potential dangers/faults in the other three basic IT re­sources.

  1. Data

Data are collections of facts or events represented in the form of symbols, such as digits, alphabets, pictures, graphs, etc. Captur­ing, processing and storage of data are the essential functions of any IT infrastructure. Data are the basic raw materials in the proc­ess of generation of information. Data may be collected from inter­nal sources as well as external sources.

Data are, thus, generally available in diverse formats using varying methods of ascertain­ment and valuation for each data item. Most of the internal data are well structured, clearly defined and complete. But, external data is fraught with a variety of weaknesses with regard to these char­acteristics.

Proper integration of internal and external data is es­sential for generation of quality information. Data as an IT resource are peculiar in the sense that most of the data are acquired over a period of time. Although a variety of sources of external data offer it off the shelf (e.g. Internet, Commercial Databases), a major part of data used is internally captured and therefore, it takes a long time to acquire it.

Unfortunately, data recorded on magnetic media are more prone to risks of physical security and privacy. High density of recording on these media and its exposure to computer hardware accidents make it imperative to take necessary steps to ensure security.

High density of recording and quick transferability of computer read­able data poses dangers to the confidentiality of data. Unauthorised access to data can result in major injury to the interest of a busi­ness enterprise. It is necessary to carefully preserve and protect this resource.

  1. Human resources

The effectiveness of an IT infrastructure is a function of the type of IT personnel available to it. In fact, best of computer hardware, software and data may be spoiled and may cause havoc if the human resources are not competent, hon­est or reliable.

Qualities like competence, honesty and reliability are critical to any work environment. But in IT infrastructure it is all the more important. Hardware is very sensitive equipment, and software and data are intangible and fragile.

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. Since human resources are cata­lysts in process of generation of information, their role becomes vital in its effectiveness.

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. According to a survey conducted by ‘Dataquest’ magazine, in India the average stay of computer pro­fessionals is 3.9 years and the average manpower turnover in the computer industry is 16% per annum.

Another survey puts the average turnover rate at 14%. It adds that 60% of the com­panies surveyed were planning to increase their hiring of IT professionals. The major factors that are driving the increased hiring of information technology professionals include techno­logical trends and high rate of growth in the IT industry.

Sub­stantial jumps in pay and opportunity in updating and upgrad­ing knowledge keep enticing the computer professionals change their jobs. It is, therefore, essential to impart requisite skills among the users of information systems as well. This reduces the dependence on computer professionals for day-to-day use of the system.

  1. Elements of Information System

As the quality of information generated through the IT infrastruc­ture depends, to a great extent, on the IT resources, they are also sometimes termed as elements of information systems. Some au­thors add one more element to this list – that is procedures.

These procedures include the operational and control procedures for the use of IT infrastructure. The procedures play an important role in the smooth and effective utilization of information resource. They also protect the information resource and maintain its quality.

Thus, the procedures as element of information system refer to the in­structions to users regarding the use of IT infrastructure for nor­mal day-to-day activity and also for handling special situations such as systems failures and crashes. They include user access permissions and disaster recovery procedures as well. These element of information system are represented in.