The OIT Infrastructure Architect
By Bob Corum
The purpose and responsibilities of the Office of Information Technology (OIT) Infrastructure Architect is to advise the OIT Enterprise Architect on all aspects of the OIT information technology (IT) infrastructure architecture, including design, procurement, policy, infrastructure capabilities, and to make security recommendations. Another critical component of the job is to liaise with OIT Core Technology Services (CTS) on support capacity and capabilities. Additional components of the job include researching, developing, and recommending long range strategic plans and policies concerning IT infrastructure architecture and assisting the OIT Security Officer with security policy.
Day-to-day activities usually fall under one of four categories: (i) Proactive Infrastructure Planning, (ii) Reactive Infrastructure Consulting, (iii) Vetting Infrastructure Procurements and Waivers, and (iv) Application/System Review and Recommendations.
Proactive Infrastructure Planning includes issues such as Certificate utilization and implementation, MS-Active Directory, Device Naming Standard, etc.
Reactive Infrastructure Consulting involves issues such as either assisting with infrastructure projects which may need assistance to move forward or undertaking new OIT initiative assessments that may arise out of changed business circumstances or requirements.
Vetting Infrastructure Procurements and Waivers consists of ensuring that all prospective infrastructure assets and implementations align with current OIT investments and the long-term enterprise vision.
Application/System Review and Recommendations involves reviewing the ability of the infrastructure to support any proposed new systems or applications.
Establishing and nurturing inter-section rapport within CTS is a critical part of this job. CTS personnel are committed and knowledgeable specialists that know their duties and responsibilities. However, they have a constrained opportunity for in-depth research, policy, and vision. The Infrastructure Architect needs to establish a relationship whereby CTS personnel willingly approach the Infrastructure Architect, as a CTS advocate, for research, policy, and vision consultation. The Infrastructure Architect, on his/her part, needs to deliver solid value and support back to the CTS staff, without adversely impacting their frontline operational and support role. In addition, the Infrastructure Architect must be able to realize a balance between vision and feasibility – what can be done vs. what can be adequately supported.