Module 1 - The Big Picture
This section of the course will provide high-level overviews of modern infrastructures, painting the picture for the modules to come. The various terms and acronyms details throughout the rest of the course will be introduced in this preliminary section.
Module 2 - Physical Environment: Network Terms
Networks sit at the heart of most modern businesses, so this module will introduce key concepts of corporate communications such as local, metropolitan and wide area networks, routers, switches, gateways, backbones, and much more.Protocols used in networking, such as TCP/IP, SMTP, POP3, IMAP & Bit Torrent will be explained along with the use of VoIP, the WWW, WiFi and Mobile Communications systems. Additionally, a look at what companies such as BT are doing within the UK to allow for better communications access for all users.
Module 3 - Physical Environment: Hardware Platforms and Operating Systems
This module covers the different types of IT hardware which are commonly seen in modern businesses. Desktop computers, mobile devices, servers, storage solutions are some of the solutions that will be covered within this section.Working alongside the hardware is the Operating System, so this module will also explore the different desktop systems such as Linux, Windows and Mac OSX, along with server operating systems such as UNIX, IBM zOS and Windows Server.
Module 4 - How Applications are being delivered
The modern office is a world away from the offices of 5 or 10 years ago. Hot-desking and remote/mobile working is becoming more common in the modern business. The IT infrastructure supporting this new approach to working needs to be flexible and secure. This module sees an exploration of fat and thin clients, virtualization options, Cloud computing, and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.
Module 5 - Need for Integration
With such a massive choice of tools and software platforms, it can be a huge logistical problem making them all talk to each other and share data. Integration of these systems is paramount to achieving a successful IT enterprise. SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) is examined in this module alongside messaging systems, middleware technologies, and standards such as Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) are discussed. The increasing use of XML (eXtensible Markup Language) for data integration will be examined along with the use of products such as Microsoft InfoPath for the collection, integration, and sharing of data. Delegates will also have the opportunity to explore the Open XML standards now included with Microsoft Office.
Module 6 - Need for Cooperation
Cooperation is key to the success of all businesses, so this module looks at the technologies that allow for data to be cooperatively shared across all aspects of the workplace, enabling decisions to be made quickly and with the minimum of fuss.
The use of communications media is discussed, taking e-mail, CRM tools and the not-so-humble telephone systems into the modern office. Microsoft SharePoint is given as an example to illustrate collaboration via portals, document management, record management and workflows. This module also looks at the interleaving of email, voice, text and video with products such as Microsoft Unified Communications.The use of Intranets and extranets will be examined along with the increasing use of Blogs and Wiki sites for collaborative working.
Module 7 - Build, buy or rent
Having the right tools can be pivotal to the success of a job, so choosing the right Software tools is a crucial part of any business plan. Whether you choose to buy an off the shelf solution, or design and build your own; an understanding of the different types of software is essential. Software development teams can be vital to a successful co-operative workplace - as such their tools, such as Java and .Net Platforms and the emerging Apple SDK are discussed in this module. The distinction between proprietary, freeware, shareware and open source will be discussed.
Licensing models will be examined to demystify the multitude of options available to businesses large or small.
Module 8 - Web and Internet tools
Module 9 - Management Reporting Tools and Databases
How do we know we are getting the best return for our investment? Staff performance and progression, sales trends, HR management, Customer Relationships and Web traffic analysis are some of the many deliverables a modern company needs to track to ensure a good return on Investment. This module explains some of the tools which can be deployed to manage and report on these topics. Business intelligence systems such as Business Objects, Crystal Reports, SAP Analytics and SAS Analytics will be discussed along with the Oracle e-business suite. Essentially, these tools are complex databases, so a look at Relational databases will help to understand how powerful these tools can be - Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft offerings will be discussed, along with the industry standard database language SQL. Data storage technologies are becoming cheaper all the time, so companies no longer have a pressing need to delete old data, as such more and more information is being retained on our IT systems. Good data management is therefore a paramount concern for many businesses, so an understanding of the Data Life Cycle will be given in this module.
Management of Data is tightly regulated by statute, so a brief introduction to the Data Protection Act will also be seen during this module.
Module 10 - Security
Security is possibly the most important piece of the entire jigsaw puzzle that is IT, yet in many cases is the most badly implemented. Most people don't give security a second thought until it's too late. This module explains the many areas security needs to be implemented to ensure data remains available, but only to those who need access to it. An outline of security technologies including firewalls, VPNs (virtual private networks), encryption, digital signatures, intrusion detection and much more is covered in this module. The use of user profiles to allow controlled resource access will also be discussed. This module will also identify how social engineering attacks are becoming more common, and how they can be used to circumnavigate expensive IT infrastructures just by asking the right questions. By determining what is classed as valuable information will help to put a good security policy into place and help police its implementation. This module will also cover the most common threat to the corporate IT environment - Malware. What is malware, how do we contract it, what can be done to prevent it getting in, and how to fix systems which have been infected.