This course is aimed at anybody who interacts with corporate IT departments and needs to understand the technology, terms, roles and emerging trends found in the modern workplace.
The course is ideally suited for business analysts, project managers, support staff and others who need to communicate with technical IT staff as it will empower them with an understanding of IT terms and usage. The course is also well suited for those who already have an understanding of IT, but are looking for an update to their skills and clarification of their knowledge.
The material covered over the 3 days will demystify terms in multiple areas such as Virtualization, .Net and Java Platforms, SharePoint, Web Services, Cloud Computing, IT architectures, integration technologies, security terms, Internet and networking areas and many other contemporary IT topics.
Delivered by way of a set of presentations, discussions and hands-on exercises, delegates at all levels of IT confidence will have an opportunity to reflect on the issues they encounter and ask questions from a technical or business perspective related to their organisations.
Throughout the course, examples of some of the contemporary tools and software suites will be given to aid visualisation of the topics being discussed.
On completion of this course, delegates will be able to:
- Provide an understanding of the terms and technologies used in corporate IT departments.
- Facilitate an increased confidence and ability relating to participation in IT meetings.
- Provide an appreciation of the strategic reasons why certain technologies are selected.
- Assist in identifying useful ideas, products and trends applicable to the attendee’s individual needs and roles.
The Big Picture (2 topics)
- An overview of the layers of IT activity, laying the foundation for explanations of the products, terms and structures commonly found.
- This section of the course will provide high-level overviews of modern infrastructures, painting the picture for the modules to come.
Physical Environment: Network Terms (2 topics)
- Before you can grasp the concept of tools used in the modern office, an understanding of how it all fits together is necessary. This module is designed to introduce key concepts of corporate communications such as local, metropolitan and wide area networks, routers & switches, gateways and backbones
- Networking protocols such as TCP/IP, SMTP, POP3, IMAP & Bit Torrent will be explained. The use of VoIP, the WWW, WiFi and Mobile Communications systems will also be examined to explain how data access through these technologies is fast becoming the preferred options. Additionally, a look at what BT is doing within the UK to allow for better communications access for all users.
Physical Environment: Hardware Platforms and Operating Systems (2 topics)
- A short overview of IT hardware covering types of systems, virtualization, the use of clustering, and areas of storage such as the role of Storage Area Networks (SANs) and Network Accessible Storage (NAS).
- The different desktop operating systems such as Linux, Windows and Mac OSX are briefly compared, along with Server operating systems such as UNIX, IBM zOS and Windows Server will also be discussed.
How Applications are Being Delivered (2 topics)
- The modern office is changing, with hot-desking, remote workers, mobile workers are being common features in today's environment. The IT infrastructure supporting this lifestyle therefore needs to be flexible enough to support this work model. An explanation of fat and thin clients will be given, along with the use of Web Services, virtualization, Cloud computing, and smart phones.
- Microsoft's Remote Desktop service will be explained, showing how many companies offer remote corporate access. Mobile Computing and the roles of smart devices such as the Blackberry and the iPhone/iPad in delivering business applications will also be discussed in this module.
Need for Integration (2 topics)
- 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.
- Web Services and the thinking behind Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) are examined in this module; Messaging systems, middleware architecture layers, and standards such as Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) are discussed. The role of XML (eXtensible Markup Language) for integration and web rendering is examined along with the role of products such as InfoPath for collection and integration of data. The Open Office XML Standard which Microsoft Introduced in Office 2007 will also be demonstrated.
Need for Cooperation (4 topics)
- This module examines the need to improve access to corporate data with an emphasis on sharing various forms of information across and beyond the enterprise.
- 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 examines the growing need for amalgamation of email, voice calls, instant messaging and conferencing 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.
Build, Buy or Rent (4 topics)
- 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 some of the shelf solution, or design and build your own, having an understanding of the different types of software is essential.
- Software development teams can be vital to a successful co-operative workplace and 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.
Web and Internet Tools (3 topics)
- The biggest advance in IT over the last 20 years has been the creation and evolution of the WWW. Many businesses have changed their entire business model due to the WWW, and some have grown entirely online.
- With the shift to mobile communications and Web access, how technologies such as RSS, GPS and RfID can be used to target users with business advertising and offers will be discussed allowing business to deliver a personalised experience to their customers.
Management Reporting Tools and Databases (4 topics)
- 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. The relevance of the Data Life Cycle will be examined in order to expose the importance of good data management.
- Management of Data is tightly regulated by statute, so a brief introduction to the Data Protection Act will also be seen during this module.
Security (4 topics)
- Security is possibly the most important piece of the entire jigsaw puzzle that is I.T., 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 concepts including firewalls, VPNs (virtual private networks), digital signatures, intrusion detection and much more is covered in this module. The use of profiles in products such as Active Directory to allow controlled resource access will 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.