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IT Infrastructure Management

The pace of business is accelerating around the globe, as leading organisations in


computer-intensive industries, such as financial, trading, manufacturing and retail
industries move toward a real-time business model in which transactions and
information sharing are near-instantaneous.

For long, it was the understanding that IT infrastructure meant the hardware and
software, and if at all, the related network. Managing it meant procuring and
installing them. The rapid pace of competition and growth compelled the
organisations to do vertical thinking, and consequently the organizations built both
forward and backward linkages to this core IT infrastructure. Today, the IT
Infrastructure has been redefined and its meaning has been extended much beyond
and before the procurement function. It starts from where it should the IT policy and
strategy, the plan and the design of IT architecture, the business process of
procurement, installation and management of h/w, s/w, n/w and other related
equipments, tools and facilities, IT personnel and expertise, IT security arrangements
and administration, IS audit, application development, integration and management,
vendor management and on and on.

Further, todays IT infrastructure has become pervasive in these organizations. It


encompasses front, back and middle offices, covers customers, suppliers, employees
and partners, and permeates every type of operations like strategizing, planning,
manufacturing, servicing, etc. In the process, mission critical business processes
heavily depend on the IT infrastructure. Yet another development is that this IT
infrastructure is getting increasingly complex and specialized, compelling the
institutions to develop expertise and specialities in these areas. This transition is
putting increasing demands on the performance, capacity, availability, and agility of
underlying IT infrastructure. As process timelines are compressed from weeks or
days, to hours, minutes or even seconds, the cost of downtime skyrockets. From
supplier and customer transactions, to employee communications and financial
reporting, business-critical functions must be up and running at all times. Business
availability and continuity is critically poised on and directly correlated to and
depends on the capacity, availability and reliability of the IT Infrastructure.

Therefore, the management of such a massive and complex infrastructure has


become the current focus of discussions in many forums, including this one.

Todays organizations understand the link from the availability and performance of
the IT infrastructure to the availability and performance of business processes as a
whole. The management of the IT infrastructure has a significant impact on the
success or failure of the business, directly affects the quality of service of business
applications, and contributes to the satisfaction of internal and external users.

Business units are asking more of IT organizations. The rate at which new demands
are being placed on the IT infrastructure is outpacing the capacity of IT organizations
to effectively manage and support them. The complexity of what to manage and how
to manage is compounded by the sheer number of new managed objects, as well as
the legacy objects that must be maintained. Business units, however, see the IT
infrastructure as a utility managed in such a way that it is available when needed and
priced as a commodity.
An organization's infrastructure management should address the availability, fault
and performance management of its IT infrastructure. Infrastructure Management
covers:

Optimization of the IT infrastructure to meet business needs for high


availability, reliability and scalability
IT infrastructure monitoring and testing technologies that deliver service
assurance
Technologies needed to build business service views
Capacity-planning processes and best practices
Enterprise Customer Relationship Management
Managed services including Business Processes Management and Hosted
Services

The Growing Need for High Availability

Almost every aspect of today's business environment has come to rely on the
uninterrupted availability of platforms, applications, and data. From customer
relationship management and enterprise resource planning, to employee
communication and collaboration, a failed application or system can be costly and
disruptive.

The impact of downtime continues to grow as companies move toward a real-time


business model supported by a Services Oriented Infrastructure. Based on Web
Services technologies, this approach allows them to integrate their data and
applications more completely, and adapt them more easily. Transactions are
processed in real time, instead of waiting for large batch runs at the end of the day.

This real-time computing strategy gives businesses and their partners better visibility
into their markets and operations, so they can respond more quickly to new
opportunities, changing customer demands, and unexpected supply challenges. It
can also help them address today's increasingly stringent regulatory requirements.
Yet as companies become more connected and response times compress the cost of
downtime continues to increase.

Achieving high service availability to meet growing needs requires a combination of


people, processes, and technology, including: highly reliable platforms, extensive
hardware and software testing, rigorous change management, redundant
architecture, highly trained staff and well established emergency procedures.

With a sufficient investment, virtually any level of availability can be achieved. Yet
costs can be prohibitive, especially as organizations strive to increase availability
guarantees from 3-nines (99.9 percent uptime), to 4-nines (99.99 percent), to 5-nines
(99.999 percent) and up.

Three high-level strategies are crucial to contain total cost of ownership (TCO), while
addressing increasing availability requirements:

1. Standardize Your Infrastructure and Operations: Enterprise standards


are essential to optimize the business value of IT, while reducing total cost
and risk. Industry standard solutions magnify these benefits. They are more
flexible and affordable than proprietary solutions, and are now capable of
supporting the most-demanding, business critical environments.
2. Focus on Service Delivery: The business value of an application depends
on the ability of end-users to access and use the application, as well as any
broader service it might support. That service may depend on multiple
applications, servers, networks, etc., and these relationships must be
considered in assessing availability requirements.
3. Measure the Business Value of High Availability: This allows standard
ROI metrics to be established, so decision-makers can align high-availability
investments with the actual business value they deliver.
Recent Trends in IT Infrastructure Management

Now, let us have a quick survey of the recent trends elsewhere in the world, the
developed worlds IT infrastructure. The followings trends are easily discernible:

Business process management


Hosted services

Application management services

Customer service management

Governance of IT Infrastructure Management

These trends pose their own challenges and raise several issues. Let us have a close
look on them.

Business Process Management Services

Outsourcing isn't just for the big organizations anymore. Thanks to Internet
technology and a variety of self-service options, mid-market organizations are finding
ways to save money, manage talent, keep investors happy, and find their own
strategic focus.

The same business benefits and economies of scale that have made generalized
outsourcing a success, also apply to infrastructure, operations and management
services provisioning. Not only can service providers offer more robust, timely and
complete solutions than most companies can provide internally, they also provide
technological expertise and leadership at a time of rapid and ongoing technological
change.

Many large enterprises now view sourcing and services provisioning as the only
practical alternative for meeting their IT infrastructure, applications and management
operational goals. While selective sourcing of IT infrastructure, operations and
management services has proven to be much less risky and more successful than the
earlier all-or-nothing sourcing approaches, business managers must clearly
understand the potential and pitfalls that selective services and sourcing entails.
Business Process Management Services should focus on the evaluation, negotiation,
implementation and management of sourcing transactions in order to meet business
objectives and minimize risks. It involves identifying mature operational areas that
could be competitively sourced. Usually, the scope of definition is complex and
includes complex financial analysis and/or development of an activity based cost
model (ABC). Sourcing assessment should cover a quick study of the business case
for proceeding with a sourcing strategy or to determine the viability of sourcing as a
business alternative. It should evaluate the current environment and costs relative to
the market to test viability and be prepared to go forward with a sourcing transaction
if results indicate sourcing is a viable option.

We should develop Competitive Sourcing Strategies like Total and Selective


Outsourcing Strategies and Solutions, Performance Work Statement, Management
Plan (Most Efficient Organization, Technical Performance Plan, Transition Plan, In-
House Cost Estimate), RFP Preparation, Response Reviews, Process and Service
Improvement
Hosted Services

To reduce the cost, time and burden of supporting IT infrastructures, operations and
management, business and technical managers are now looking to a new generation
of services and sourcing offerings. One such class of solution is infrastructure,
management and operations sourcing. The primary benefits of infrastructure,
management and operations sourcing includes initial and ongoing cost reduction, and
the provision of higher quality, better performing, more robust, and dynamically
scalable solutions than could be developed and deployed internally. In addition, by
sourcing their infrastructure and operations, business and technical managers can
focus on their core business, with the flexibility to exploit emerging technologies and
new global business opportunities. These services include

Networked infrastructure management services


Remote server management
Security services provisioning
Business continuity services
Web hosting solutions
Systems management
Storage management and storage service providers
Monitoring and management services
Service management/services automation tools
Enterprise application delivery systems and application service providers
(ASPs)

Organizations have never been more dependent on communications for the success
of their businesses. Improving network efficiency is highly critical. One of the IT
manager's worst nightmares is having a key system crash or having data
compromised. Eliminate these risks through managed services, which provide
confidence in business continuity through:

Secure facilities,
Secure systems,
Distributed and redundant sourcing of power, data and processing,
Timely disaster recovery,
Scalability, and
Highly experienced staff with appropriate security clearances.

Avail an enterprise hosting environment with firewalls, intrusion detection, automated


monitoring and physical and network security.

Customer Services

Is your organisation presenting one face to the customer through the web? Email?
Call centers? Can your customers be serviced 24/7? Are you operating at your
maximum efficiency? Integrating your customer interactions across all channels can
drastically improve the level of service provided to the customer. Customers today
are looking for access to needed information at a time of their choosing. Over the last
few years, increased customer expectations are putting new pressures on
organisations to deliver timely service and account information through alternate
channels. The following will enable you to deliver the world-class service supports
customers value:

Channel Management (Single view of customer, Cost-to-serve Analysis).


Contact Center Optimization (Operational efficiency, Process optimization,
Diagnostic).
Online Self Service.
Content Management (Portal design & development, Single face to customer,
Fulfillment).

Application Management Services

The application management services market is now in the process of shifting from
first generation, "emerging solutions", to second-generation "growth markets". With
this shift has come market maturation, in terms of viable product offerings and
services models, and entry into the enterprise market. There have also emerged a
dazzling array of choices, along with market segmentation and the rapid
development of whole new classes of offerings. For example, ASP offerings were
formally limited to ERP solutions targeted to the small-to-medium businesses market.
Today, all manner of applications are available as hosted or managed solutions.
These offerings range from horizontal systems applicable to all classes and sizes of
organizations, to niche systems limited to very narrow vertical market segments.
Similarly, the number and scope of application management services that are
available today are increasing rapidly and are just as equally rapidly being employed
by the largest organizations in the world. Unfortunately, few business and technology
managers know that these new solutions and services exist, to say nothing of the
process of selecting competitive offerings.

These services include:

Application management: The potential and pitfalls


Hosted vertical market solutions
Application management trends
Software as a service
ERP and back-office applications options
Hosted desktops and front-office systems
Hosting options for wireless services
Technical evaluation and selection
Managed applications and e-services including:
o Procurement
o Supply chain
o Content management
o Email, Groupware and collaboration
o Virtual office solutions
o Data warehousing
o Storage
o Software development and testing
o e-Marketing
Governance in IT Infrastructure Management

The ability of organizations to exploit IT infrastructure, operations and management


sourcing/service solutions not only depends on the availability, cost and effectiveness
of applications and services, but also with coming to terms with solution providers,
and managing the entire sourcing process. In the rush to reduce costs, increase IT
quality and increase competitiveness by way of selective IT sourcing and services,
many organizations do not consider the management side of the equation. The
predictable result of this neglect is overpayment, cost overruns, unmet expectations
and outright failure.

Negotiating service level agreements (SLAs)


Using third party negotiators
Performance metrics/ROI
Service options of Web hosting companies
Establishing security-related Service Level Agreements
Cost analysis and budget considerations for infrastructure, operations and
management outsourcing
Metering, Service Level Agreements and relationship management
Service level management
Managing the sourcing process
Customer/user relationship and support issues
Contract negotiations, out clauses, escalation procedures
Penalties for non-performance
Employing external measurement services
Contracting, staffing and outsourcing options

Infrastructure Investment
Infrastructure investment is seen by many as a highly lucrative type of financial investing. By
investing funds in specific infrastructure projects, such as the building or rehabilitation of highways,
sewers, waterways, and energy stations, investors not only stand a chance to make money but also
benefit as citizens through their contributions to the creation and upkeep of public necessities.
Generally a long-term, slow-growing investment, infrastructure is often touted as a good defensive
investment, due to its high level of protection from regular stock market fluctuations.

Traditionally, infrastructure development has been the province of government. Many attribute the
revitalization of America's economy following the Great Depression to government programs
specifically geared toward improving infrastructure, and thus providing jobs. Soaring costs and
expansive population growth, however, has made it impossible for nearly any government to fully
finance major infrastructure projects in the 21st century. More and more, governments have turned
to private investors to provide capital for the development of infrastructure.

One of the reasons that infrastructure investment is considered a good bet is that, for the most
part, governments maintain monopolies over some forms of infrastructure. Roadways, for instance,
are almost entirely public systems; there are no privatized freeways in most places. As a result,
usage fees, such as tolls, are not subject to competition and thus can be higher, creating greater
returns for investors.

As with any form of investment, financing infrastructure does involve some risk. Many types of
infrastructure investment require a large initial output of funds, meaning that once the money is
spent, returns are dependent on the project running smoothly and successfully. With a local
economy infrastructure investment, the dangers include the chance that construction estimates
were incorrect, that delays can cause costs to rise, and even that the project will run out of money
before completion. In foreign investments, there are additional risks of currency exchange rates
changing the value of the investment, and unstable social elements, such as a war or regime
change, disrupting a project.

An infrastructure investment can be made in several different ways. One common way is through
the purchase of bonds released to fund a specific project, such as a port renovation or the
construction of a public university. Investing in mutual funds can allow investors to sell back shares
in the case of a project downturn, which can help guard against the risk to some degree. Many
larger funds, such as company-wide retirement or pension plans, may also invest some of their
holdings in infrastructure.

Trends In Computer Hardware And Software Platforms Information


Technology Essay

Published: 23, March 2015

Managing information is a planned system of the collection, processing, storage and dissemination
of data in the form of information needed to carry out the management functions.

Information system has got three activities produce information organizations needed these are:-

Input: Captures raw data from organization or external environment

Processing: Converts raw data into meaningful form

Output: Transfers processed information to people or activities that use it

The paper is dealing about the trend of IT technology and how does it merge then I will talk about
the current trends in computer hardware and software platform and how is involving in mobile
platform, grid computing and Cloud computing.

What are the current trends in computer hardware


and software platforms? Described the involving
mobile platform, grid computing and cloud
computing.
Trends identified in a 1982 article were increasing miniaturization and archival ability, increasing
software costs, increasing software independence, user empowerment through new software
technologies, shorter computer-system life cycles, and more rapid development and support of
services. Most of these trends continue today.
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Current trends in hardware and software include the increasing use of reduced instruction-set
computing, movement to the UNIX operating system, the development of large software libraries,
microprocessor-based smart terminals that allow remote validation of data, speech synthesis and
recognition, application generators, now in fourth-generation languages, computer-aided software
engineering, object-oriented technologies, and artificial intelligence.

The computer industry and its products continue to undergo dynamic change. Software
development continues to lag behind hardware, and its high cost is offsetting the savings provided
by hardware.

The future of hardware is quite shaky because of the troubles between software and hardware
computer engineers and now that software could not keep up with hardware, hardware may be
declining as software will take over.

Example we always see the upgrade of software and but hardware still the same. The more software
upgrade becomes more easy to use and maintained.

How does hardware platforms involved in

Mobile platform:
A mobile platform is the operating system that controls a mobile device or information appliance
similar in principle to an operating system such as Windows, Mac OS, or Linux that controls a
desktop computer or laptop. However, they are currently somewhat simpler, and deal more with the
wireless versions of broadband and local connectivity, mobile multimedia formats, and different
input methods.
Examples of devices running a mobile operating system are smartphones, personal digital assistants
(PDAs), tablet computers and information appliances or what are sometimes referred to as smart
devices, which may also include embedded systems, or other mobile devices and wireless devices.

More and more business computing is moving from PCs and desktop machines to mobile devices
like cell phones and smart phones. Data transmissions, Web surfing, e-mail and instant messaging,
digital content displays, and data exchanges with internal corporate systems are all available
through a mobile digital platform. Netbooks, small low-cost lightweight subnotebooks that are
optimized for wireless communication and Internet access, are included.

Example is iPhone, strengths greatly outweigh its weaknesses, and you need to use it only for a
short time to realize how old and heavy most other smart phones feel. In most cases, the iPhone
provides the real thing in terms of Web and Internet capabilities, not watered-down phone versions.

The iPhone has already unleashed competition from other vendors that recognize the innovations
and improvements that the Apple phone has introduced. It was very good and it was getting close
to replace the PC.

Grid computing:
It involves connecting geographically remote computers into a single network capable of working in
parallel on business problems that require short-term access to large computational capacity.
Meaning rather than purchase huge mainframes or super computers, firms can chain together
thousands of smaller desktop clients into a single computing grid.

Example thinks about how much time you don't use your personal computer, in reality not a lot.
Most computers in the world are being idle and at night they are sleeping. What if you could
combine all the idle time of hundreds or thousands of computers into a continuous, connected
computing capacity to capture, process, manage, store, and retrieve data? You wouldn't have to
purchase enormous, super computers to realize this capability and capacity. You just have to turn on
grid computing.
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Three reasons why grid computing is appealing to companies include:

Cost savings

Computer become more speed

Computer become very quick

Advantages of grid computing;

Can solve larger, more complex problems in a shorter time

Easier to collaborate with other organizations

Make better use of existing hardware

A good example of a company is Amazon website services use grid computing.

Cloud computing:
This is a model of computing where firms and individuals obtain computing power and software
applications over the Internet, rather than purchasing their own hardware and software. Data are
stored on powerful servers in massive data centres, and can be accessed by anyone with an
Internet connection and standard Web browser.

Cloud computing is an umbrella term used to refer to Internet based development and services. The
cloud is an image for the Internet. A number of characteristics define cloud data, applications
services and infrastructure:

Remotely hosted: Services or data are hosted on someone else's infrastructure.

Everywhere: Services or data are available from anywhere.

The result is a utility computing model similar to traditional that of traditional utilities, like gas and
electricity. You pay for what you would like pays as you go or the more you use the more you pay.

Types of Cloud Computing


Major corporations including Amazon, Google, IBM, Sun, Cisco, Dell, HP, Intel, Novell, and Oracle
have invested in cloud computing and offer individuals and businesses a range of cloud-based
solutions.
Social Networking
The most famous use of cloud computing is social networking Websites, including Facebook,
LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, and many, many others. The main idea of social networking is to find
people you already know or people you would like to know and share your information with them.
Certainly, when you share your information with these people, you're also sharing it with the people
who run the service.

Example using a Facebook page, a business can connect with its customers, and at the same time,
those customers will be promoting your business.

Emails
Some of the biggest cloud computing services are Web-based e-mail. Examples, Hotmail or
Windows Live Mail Using a cloud computing e-mail solution allows the mechanics of hosting an e-
mail server and maintaining it to be taken out of your hands. It also means that your e-mail is
accessible from anywhere.

Banking and Financial Services, Government, health


care
Consumers store personal information to cloud computing service providers. They are using free or
low cost online backup services.

Advantage of Cloud computing


It provide necessary infrastructure from centralized sources.

It's cheaper and helps companies reduce the total cost of ownership of IT technology.

They can also take advantage of newer technologies than what they are able to buy and maintain
on their own.

Software Platform trend


There are five themes for software platform trends and how it is involving in digital mobile, grid
computing and cloud computing internet.

List of five themes for software platform are:-

Linux and open source software

Java and Ajax

Web services and services oriented architecture

Software mash up and web2 application

Software outsourcing

Lots of trends are occurring in software's. At the beginning the computers were very hard to
maintain but now days they have made it very easy to maintain computers. Most developers they
are using software like Linux and open software because is free and can be modified by users. It can
be developed and maintained by a worldwide network of programmers and designers under the
management of user communities

Software outsourcing this is kind of small firms purchase most of their software from outside
vendors. Three kinds of outsourcing:

Purchase of software packages

Using application service providers

Custom outsourcing

The main changes occurring in software are:-

More flexibility ; one of the major attributes of modern software is flexible meaning, now developed
software are becoming more easier to use .It does not really acquire tutorials or have to be thought
before one can use a software on the market these days. This is due to indicates and showing of
genuineness in software making it meaningful for users to see and use without haven to be
explained before use.

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This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our
professional essay writers.

For example early versions of Microsoft Office were that uneasy to use but with current versions of
this Application software (that is in 2007-2010), the organization is more simple therefore becoming
more flexible because you can easily manipulate around with it.
It can be used for daily communication Examples of software are Microsoft Outlook Express, Yahoo
Messenger, MSN Messenger, etc. This software's used for daily communication through digital
mobile, grid computing and cloud computing (internet).

Software can be used for security purpose, security system if you know a lot about software you
may break any security system example code and you can even rob the bank in computer term is
known as hacking. It can be used for hacking.

Software Enables Multitasking: trend occurring in software's these days includes multitasking
supportiveness. Multitasking refers to the ability of a system specifically CPU/COMPUTER SYSTEM to
run more than one task simultaneously. Software's these days has the ability to support
Multitasking. Typical example is, The Microsoft XP PACK versions were able to support multitasking
but not more effective as in Windows 7 which can carry more than 4 tasks at a time. It could copy,
delete, install at the same time which shows how software evolving these days are multitasking
supported.

Part II
Using specific examples/organisation, describe how network economics, declining communication
costs and technology standards affect IT infrastructure?

IT infrastructure is the physical hardware used to interconnect computers and users. Infrastructure
includes the transmission media, including telephone lines, cable television lines, and satellites and
antennas, and also the routers, aggregators, repeaters, and other devices that control transmission
paths. Infrastructure also includes the software used to send, receive, and manage the signals that
are transmitted.

IT infrastructure how does it affect in Networking


Economic?
Network economics: Metcalfe's Law helps explain the mushrooming use of computers by showing
that a network's value to participants grows exponentially as the network takes on more members.
As the number of members in a network grows linearly, the value of the entire system grows
exponentially and theoretically continues to grow forever as members increase.

The typical example is the telephone. The more people own telephones, the more valuable the
telephone is to each owner. This creates a positive externality because a user may purchase their
phone without intending to create value for other users, but does so in any case. Online social
networks work in the same way, with sites like Twitter and Facebook being more useful the more
users join.

Declining communication costs: Rapid decline in costs of communication and the exponential growth
in the size of the Internet is a driving force that affects the IT infrastructure. As communication
costs fall toward a very small number and approach zero, utilization of communication and
computing facilities explodes.

Example the company can use the policy to each person electronically (e-mail). Everyone would
have a personal copy stored on computer. There is no need to print it out on paper because it will be
stored electronically and can be referenced whenever it is convenient. As employees acknowledge
receipt of the policy via e-mail, the HR department knows they received it.

So what about the people who don't have their own personal computer? You could post the new
policy to the company Intranet, which would be available to all employees whenever they find it
convenient. Again, time and resources are cut drastically through the use of an information system.
If the policy needs to be revised, the same process can be used to make and send out changes. The
revised policy can be posted on the intranet for all to see. This system can be applied in any
organisation.

Technology standards: Growing agreement in the technology industry to use computing and
communication standards. Technology standards unleash powerful economies of scale and result in
price declines as manufacturers focus on the products built to a single standard. Without economies
of scale, computing of any sort would be far more expensive than is currently the case.

Example without an information system you would need to have a clerical worker available to record
and send out all the information to everyone before and after the meetings. You would have to set
up a time and place for team members to meet. This was 20 years system and it cost more.

If your company had the proper information system, much of the hassle and expense of this
scenario could be eliminated. By using technology, most of the collaboration and communication
throughout the organization, top-to-bottom, side-to-side, could be accomplished quicker and
cheaper.

Above you can see how IT infrastructure being affected in networking economic, declining
communication costs and technology standards with a good example of any company or any
organisation.

Recommendations
Technology is good because it simplify your work environment. Technology makes tasks easier,
quicker, more efficient, and better. On the other hand, technology can make people lazier, products
are made more cheaply which can be good for companies, but bad for consumers, and technology
can have adverse effects on a person's health and safety. Example of person health it might be eyes
problems or headache because of spending time on computer without a break.

IT information has not only brought the world closer together, but it has allowed the world's
economy to become a single interdependent system. This means that we can not only share
information quickly and efficiently, but we can also bring down barriers of linguistic and geographic
boundaries.

The help of information technology, communication has also become cheaper, quicker, and more
efficient. We can now communicate with anyone around the globe by simply text messaging them or
sending them an email for an almost instantaneous response. The internet has also opened up face
to face direct communication from different parts of the world thanks to the helps of video
conferencing.

IT Infrastructure in Banks in India

Bangladesh - Infrastructure, power, and communications

Bangladesh is a country of a thousand rivers, large and small, and most of its territory is regularly
flooded during the monsoon season. This fact makes it extremely difficult and expensive to build
modern transportation and communication networks. The river boats and ferries traditionally used
for transportation are cheap, but slow and inefficient. The situation is further complicated by the
fact that the Bangladeshi government has sharply limited resources not only for building new
infrastructure but also for maintaining the existing one. From the colonial era Bangladesh
inherited underdeveloped and unevenly distributed infrastructure and transportation networks. Poor
and inefficient infrastructure undermined the economic development in the country, and only
recently has the government been able to address the problem systematically and channel
investments towards expanding its highways, railroads, seaports, and airports. More recently, with
international assistance the government has also started to modernize its telecommunications
infrastructure and introduce the Internet.

According to the CIA World Factbook, Bangladesh is served by a network of 201,182 kilometers
(125,014 miles) of primary and secondary roads, but only around 10 percent of them, or 19,112
kilometers (11,876 miles) are paved. In June 1998 the huge US$1 billion Jamuna Multipurpose
Bridge was completed, becoming the 12th-longest bridge in the world. The bridge connected for the
first time the eastern and western parts of Bangladesh. The completion of this project made an
important contribution to the development of the country's transportation network and significantly
boosted the quality and speed of passenger and freight transportation. The number of privately-
owned cars grew throughout the 1990s, albeit from a very low level (there were 40,000 private cars
in 1994). Many cars are very old and in poor repair and produce high levels of pollution on the
congested roads of the capital and other major cities. Despite all the problems with the roads and
the often-outdated equipment, 66 percent of all freight and 73 percent of all passengers are carried
by roads; however, animal-driven carts are still a part of the national landscape, as they provide the
cheapest and most reliable transportation for people and goods in most of the country's rural areas.

Bangladesh has a railway system of about 2,745 kilometers (1,706 miles), of which only 923
kilometers (573.5 miles) is a broad gauge (1.676 meter gauge) and the remaining 1,822 kilometers
(1,132 miles) is narrow gauge (1.000 meter gauge), according to CIA estimates for 1998. Major
links run from the largest Bangladeshi port, Chittagong, to Dhaka and further to the north of the
country; other links connect such centers as Khulna and Rajshahi. Historically, the railway was built
by the British colonial administration in 1884, running between Calcutta (now India) and Khulna
(now Bangladesh). Rail services were halted following the Indo-Pakistan war in 1965. In the 1970s
cargo trains resumed their services between the 2 countries. According to a BBC report on 26
January 2001, the government of Bangladesh has expressed its interest in "seriously studying the
potential of linking the national railways with the proposed Trans-Asian Railway Network." The
Bangladeshi railway system remains a state-owned monopoly requiring large

subsidies , as it is notorious for its poor management and a long-established tradition of ticketless
travel among the local population. In recent moves, the government began the privatization of some
railway services, including ticket reservation and in-service catering. Despite all shortcomings, the
railway remained an important mode of transportation, operating 3.7 billion passenger-kilometers
and carrying 3.76 million metric tons of goods in the 1998-99 financial year.

The waterways are an important mode of transportation, especially to some remote areas of the
country, as no other mode of transportation is available during monsoon season. Bangladesh has 3
major seaports, at Chittagong, Dhaka, and Mongla, and several smaller ports. The largest and most
important port is Chittagong, situated around 200 kilometers (124 miles) southeast of Dhaka.
According to the EIU Country Report, in 2000 the Chittagong seaport handled around 80 percent of
country's imports and 75 percent of exports, or 14.6 million metric tons of cargo and 420,850
containers. There have been several plans backed by private investors to set up 2 modern container
terminals (in Chittagong and in Dhaka), but these plans have met opposition from the labor unions.
According to the U.S. Department of State, in 1998 the U.S.-based company Stevedoring Services
of America (SSA) signed a US$440 million contract to develop a private container project, which
includes the construction of 2 container terminals.

Currently, Bangladesh is putting considerable efforts into developing its aviation industry to serve
growing tourism and business needs. According to the CIA World Factbook, the country has 16
airports with paved run-ways, including 2 international airports (Chittagong and Dhaka). The
largest, Zia International Airport at Dhaka, is capable of handling 25 million passengers and 1.2
million tons of cargo annually. Bangladeshi Biman Airline, the national air carrier, operates a fleet of
about 15 aircraft, including 3 Airbus 310-300s, flying to 25 international destinations and serving
several domestic routes. In the 1998-99 financial year it carried 1.22 million passengers and 30,869
metric tons of cargo.

Bangladesh belongs to the group of countries with the lowest commercial energy consumption per
head in the world. The CIA estimated that in 1999 the country produced 12.5 billion kWh, 85
percent of which was produced using gas, 7.0 percent was produced at hydroelectric power plants,
and around 8 percent by using liquid fuel. According to the EIU Country Profile, 85 percent of
households in Bangladesh have no electricity and in these places where it is delivered, 40 percent of
the electricity generated is not paid for. The country experiences regular electricity blackouts and
shortages, and its poor reliability is often cited among factors driving away foreign investors. The
Bangladeshi government is willing to address the problem but in general has not had enough
resources to build new electric power generating plants. In a recent trend, the Asian Bank of
Development (ABD) approved a US$140 million loan to construct a 450-mw gas-fired power station
near Dhaka, scheduled for completion in 2003.

Telecommunication services in Bangladesh are underdeveloped and provide one of the lowest rates
of telephone ownership per 1,000 inhabitants in the world. The largest company is the Bangladesh
Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB), which enjoyed a state monopoly until 1972, when private
operators were allowed. As most of the telephone service uses outdated analogue technology, the
quality of telecommunication services is often poor and in need of upgrades. In 2000 the country
had a mere 490,000 telephone lines and 52,000 mobile phones serving 129 million people. The
government is aiming to provide telephone coverage of remote towns and villages that until now
have had no telephone connections. With international assistance and increasing private
investments, Bangladesh is upgrading its telecommunication system, replacing analogue technology
with digital, introducing the Internet and e-mail services, and expanding cellular mobile services.

The banking industry in India has been leveraging IT for its business for the past
twenty-five years. However, the technology adoption and therefore the creation of IT
infrastructure have not been uniform across all the banks. There are leaders who are
on par with any international organization in terms of IT infrastructure build-up and
usage and there are laggards who are still rudimentary in terms of approach,
magnitude and coverage.

However, the noteworthy feature is the common direction in which all members of
the industry are traveling, i.e. towards ever increasing use of IT. Therefore the trends
that we have been discussing till now are very relevant, immediately to those banks
which are in the forefront and in near future for the others who are rapidly catching
up. Both the groups are toiling to understand the implications and take the best
advantage of the trends. I am very happy to note that a select representative of each
group is going to discuss in detail later in this conference the challenges that they
faced and the solution that they have adopted in managing their IT infrastructure.

Related issues are the network design and architecture, security and legal issues. As
85% of our banking industry is still to fully husband the benefits of the connectivity,
issues on networking and security is of immediate relevance. And, as we increasingly
eliminate manual processes and records and rely on electronic records, we need to
create general awareness, processes, case laws, conventions, best practices, etc. for
ensuring legality of e-records and data. Thoughtfully, the Conference will be
discussing these subjects as well.

Conclusion

To conclude, enterprise infrastructures have become increasingly complex. Most have


a wide diversity of platforms, operating systems, and applications. New systems are
being implemented that integrate end-to-end business processes across Web servers,
application servers, ERP applications, legacy applications, and even partner and
supplier systems. Managing this infrastructure and pinpointing failure points in a
distributed process spanning multiple systems is a difficult task. The deliberations in
this conference, I am sure, will help the IT Chiefs of banks deal with the growing
complexity of managing diverse infrastructures. I hope, it will explore best practices,
and offer tips from analysts and experienced on keeping your diverse infrastructure
up and running.