IT Operations vs IT Infrastructure: What is the Best Career Path for Me?

You may hear the phrase “I&O” in IT these days. Well, these are two sides of the coin that are different but are often lumped together. It’s understandable why these terms are paired: infrastructure compliments operations in the IT space, and both ensure service and applications delivery. However, these are two different areas of IT. How will you know what is the right career path to take or even understand the differences between these roles? We have options and info that should help you decide which is the best fit for you.

What’s the Difference Between IT Operations and IT Infrastructure?

IT operations (IT ops) relates to the design, setup and configuration, deployment, and maintenance of the IT infrastructure that supports business operations. It can encompass a set of processes or services administered by an IT team, typically within an enterprise organization.

IT operations is an important part of service delivery that affects just about every avenue of a business these days. There are a lot of moving parts in this role, from training and the purchase of new hardware, to working with a programming team to fix bugs and get things accomplished. The goal of an IT Operations Manager is to oversee IT services and the infrastructure itself. The job could consist of overseeing a daily set of tasks, such as workload scheduling, data backups, system restoration, and general troubleshooting. There could also be facility management tasks, including maintenance of the physical environment that houses the on-premise IT infrastructure.

IT infrastructure is all about the technologies that you’re working with. This could include physical hardware, as well as virtual cloud systems. Cloud adoption emerged as one of the big IT issues over the past decade, and many IT infrastructure professionals have been tasked with shifting their focus to a more virtual environmental architecture. This, in turn, created new challenges related to security and end-user best practices, as well as organizational workflows.

An IT Infrastructure Engineer maintains all of the tools in a network, whether they are in the cloud or on-site. For example, servers, routers, PCs, laptops, or other equipment that needs to be repaired, upgraded, or replaced, would typically be handled by an IT infrastructure person. This also includes figuring out AWS or Azure cloud, for instance, if the company has virtual servers or desktops. Some of the responsibilities of these jobs include:

  • Setting up a network infrastructure, including governance, and permissions for employees.
  • Providing IT support for end-users, including troubleshooting the installation of a new piece of software or reconfiguring it to fit certain parameters.
  • Maintaining network components is also a key part of this job. The IT infrastructure person makes sure the trains are running on time, from an IT perspective. This requires monitoring servers, upgrading platforms, or other maintenance issues that could negatively affect performance of these tools should they not stay up-to-date.

If you are interested in either of these critical IT positions, please don’t hesitate to call on Blackstone Talent Group. We work with candidates to help them find the best fit for their skills. Find out why we are the top choice for IT job seekers. Contact us. We can help.

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