Apprenticeship toolkit

Understanding your infrastructure options

Providers have an array of choices when it comes to developing an IT infrastructure but building your own systems is generally only an option for large providers with high-level in-house IT skills.

Most providers purchase leading market brands for their core systems. Care needs to be taken to ensure that the products purchased work well together.

Larger providers managing a complex infrastructure may want to think about a service oriented approach (SOA) to ensure their systems talk to one another. This can be designed over time or you can buy software called an enterprise service bus (ESB) to help.

Small providers may find that cloud services open up new possibilities to enhance their business through technology.

Cloud computing does away with upfront capital investment and costing is on a ‘pay-per-use’ or even ‘pay-per-click’ type model. You can trial things that were previously too expensive to buy knowing that costs will only rise in line with usage and delivery of business benefit. This type of arrangement is sometimes known as software as a service (SaaS).

Reliable and accessible Wifi is essential at training provider premises so that apprentices can use their own devices. BYOD (bring your own device) is a major consideration in relation to what tools you use and also to how you secure your network. Providers should also make hardware available on loan for those who do not own suitable devices.