Principal Infrastructure Engineer

Summary

A principal infrastructure engineer is an accomplished technical leader.

At this role level, you will:

  • develop strategic and tactical engineering roadmaps for technologies and services in your area of responsibility, ensuring they’re future-proofed and that the organisation derives maximum value from investment in technologies

  • potentially own the operational relationships with suppliers, ensuring services and products are delivered and aligned to industry best practice and regulatory and contractual requirements

  • work with technical architects to translate the architectural designs into operations and support technical architects in operationalising the designs

  • lead and direct infrastructure specialist teams in building, managing, supporting and maintaining solutions according to departmental policy (if taking a managerial path)

Background

Background Components

Description Background

Has a strategic understanding of the technical and operational aspects of working with external telecommunications service suppliers. Has an extensive knowledge, both theoretical and practical of a wide range of communications systems, networks, software, hardware and supplier services, networking media, services, and facilities. Understands the technical and economic needs of the business, is budget conscious and possesses strong interpersonal skills and knowledge of project management.

Prior Knowledge and Skills

Work Activity Components

Title Details

Incident management

Reviews incidents and breaches of service level agreements. Reports on findings and initiates improvement actions.

Automation tools

Investigates and manages the adoption of tools, techniques and processes (including automation) for the management of systems and services.

Advice/guidance

Provides advice and guidance to, business management, analysts, designers, and less experienced colleagues on all aspects of network design and technology. Interfaces with designers and planners from external suppliers and network service providers, to ensure that network requirements (particularly network response times, volumetric information and security requirements) are reflected in the overall specification.

Physical design and operational requirements

Is aware of operational requirements especially in terms of service levels, network availability, response times, security and repair times. Proposes design enhancements, capacity changes, contingency and recovery arrangements as required, to ensure that all network design targets are met and that the networks provided meet their service level targets within the organisation’s planned budget.

Option evaluation

Reviews network costs against budget, public tariffs and new developments, approving proposals to change network design when appropriate. Obtains and evaluates proposals from network suppliers of equipment, software and services.

Assessment/selection

Produces network requirements, and tender and proposal documents, and conducts reviews and evaluations of responses for the selection of appropriate suppliers, services and contracts.

Function/service management

Manages and coordinates a network design team, teams, or centre of expertise, taking responsibility for the design and development of complex network systems, including investigation, analysis, specification, design, building, testing, operation, maintenance, upgrade, migration and obsolescence.

Development needs

Determines development needs for a professional practice area. Aligns development activities with organisational priorities, learning and development strategies and career pathways.

Communities of practice

Promotes the establishment and ongoing development of one or more community of practice (CoP). Encourages participation and ensures alignment with organisational needs.

Strategy, policy and standards

Maintains a broad understanding of the commercial IT environment, how the organisation sources, deploys and manages external partners and when it is appropriate to use in-house resource.

Advises on policy and procedures covering the selection of suppliers, tendering and procurement.

Supplier performance

Ensures that resources and tools are in place to conduct benchmarking across the supply chain.

Communication and liaison

Defines the approach and acts as the high-level point of contact between the customer and internal or external supplier organisations, ensuring that users in own organisation deal with supplier within the terms and conditions of the contract, and that all communications between suppliers and users within own organisation take place effectively, efficiently and in a timely manner. Is the final point of escalation for most significant issues or problems raised by the suppliers, users or own staff, and arbitrates in situations where the team members feel unable to deal with the issue themselves without more senior management support or advice.

Incidents, problems and disputes

Assures that the quality of the services delivered by suppliers meet contractual commitments and business needs.

Service improvements and collaboration

Creates an environment in which the organisation and its suppliers collaborate to their mutual benefit, ensuring positive and effective working relationships are developed and maintained across the supply chain.

Risk management and governance

Manages risks and assures the quality of the services delivered by suppliers

Knowledge/Skills

Knowledge/Skills Components

Title Depth Details Type

Conceptual Thinking

Acquiring understanding and insights regarding the underlying issues in complex problems or situations through the development of abstract representations, the identification of patterns and the analysis of hypotheses.

Behavioural Skills

Strategic Perspective

Keeping organisational objectives and strategies in mind and ensuring courses of action are aligned with the strategic context.

Behavioural Skills

Cross-Functional and Inter-Disciplinary Awareness

Understanding the needs, objectives and constraints of those in other disciplines and functions.

Behavioural Skills

Leadership

Clearly articulating goals and objectives and motivating and leading others towards their achievement.

Behavioural Skills

Configuration Management

Proficient in

The discipline that gives precise control over IT assets and components by recording and maintaining information about the ‘configuration items’, including hardware devices, computer programs, software licences, documentation, network devices, and data centre facilities (virtualised and static).

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Infrastructure Architecture

Proficient in

The frameworks and principles on which networks, systems, equipment and resources are based both on premises and cloud-based.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Networking and Communications

Expert in

The planning and management of the interaction between two or more networking systems, computers or other intelligent devices.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Operating Systems

Proficient in

System software that controls activities such as input, output, dynamic resource allocation, and error reporting, within the operation of a computer configuration.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Programming Languages

Proficient in

A set of codes and syntax (supported by software tools) that enables the unambiguous translation of specified functionality into source code for the creation of computer programs.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Corporate, Industry and Professional Standards

Proficient in

Applying standards, practices, codes, and assessment and certification programmes relevant to the IT industry, and the specific organisation or business domain.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Telecommunications Protocols

Expert in

Rules for the inter-operation of networking components.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Business Continuity Planning

Familiar with

Methods and techniques for risk assessment, business impact analysis, establishment of countermeasures and contingency arrangements relating to the serious disruption of IT services.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Third Party IT Products and Services

Proficient in

The IT products and/or services supplied to own organisation by external suppliers.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Network Traffic Analysis

Expert in

Methods and techniques for the capture of traffic information (packet level) and the forensic analysis of this information into its constituent elements.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Big Data

Familiar with

The discipline associated with data sets so large and/or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate. The data files may include structured, unstructured and/or semi-structured data, such as unstructured text, audio, video, etc. Challenges include analysis, capture, curation, search, sharing, storage, transfer, manipulation, analysis, visualization and information privacy.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Cloud/Virtualisation

Expert in

The principles and application of cloud/ virtualisation (including ownership, responsibilities and security implications). Use of tools and systems to manage virtualised environments.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Wi-Fi

Proficient in

The principles, functions and operation of Wi Fi components, routers, hubs and repeaters and the installation of Wi-Fi hot spots with appropriate use of security and encryption techniques.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Communications Modelling Tools

Expert in

Tools and techniques (manual or automated) that can be used to plan or document an understanding of the design, structure, relationships and usage of networks.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Safe Installation Practice

Proficient in

The knowledge and ability to install and maintain hardware systems to operate within their planned specification in a way that ensures they are safe to use by those authorised to work with them.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Network Data Security

Proficient in

Network security and threat mitigation, including physical, electronic, firewalling, encryption, access, and authorisation; protecting data at rest and in transit; defending against viruses and malware; the impact of Big Data; and the integration of robust security controls into enterprise services and policies.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Infrastructure/System Security

Proficient in

The security threats and vulnerabilities that impact and/or emanate from system hardware, software and other infrastructure components, and relevant strategies, controls and activities to prevent, mitigate, detect and resolve security incidents affecting system hardware, software and other infrastructure components.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Budgets

Proficient in

Principles, methods, techniques and tools for the preparation and monitoring of budgets to manage costs and ensure cost-effectiveness and value for money.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Risk Management

Familiar with

Methods and techniques for the assessment and management of business risk including safety-related risk.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Techniques for Effective Meetings

Proficient in

Methods and techniques for running effective meetings and for understanding and influencing the roles played by participants.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Coaching Techniques

Proficient in

Methods and techniques for coaching individuals or groups by a balanced combination of support and direction, including use of virtual learning environments plus add-ons to augment feedback specific to work items, workflow or career plans.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Project Planning and Control Techniques

Proficient in

Methods and techniques associated with planning and monitoring progress of projects.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Service Level Agreements

Proficient in

The purpose and composition of a service level agreement (SLA); the relationship between an SLA, an OLA (Operational Level Agreement) and an underpinning contract for the supply of services.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Contract Management

Proficient in

Methods and techniques for managing contracts to ensure that suppliers adhere to agreed contract requirements.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Training Activities

Training Components

Title Details

Financial Planning and Budgeting

Principles, regulations, procedures and tools for the financial management of both ongoing activities (business as usual) and time-bounded (project) activities.

Software Configuration

Installation, configuration and tuning of applications or systems software.

Wide Area Networks

Features and characteristics of networks configured over a wide area i.e. beyond the geographical boundaries of a single site.

Local Area Networks

Features and characteristics of local area networks relevant to installation and support of hardware and software components.

Coaching

Concepts, methods and techniques for providing coaching in subject specialisms to individuals or groups (e.g. GROW model).

Outsourcing Theory

Principles of outsourcing, including techniques for identifying services that could be procured from external suppliers, strategies for supplier selection, contract formats and management of the supplier relationship.

Contract Law Principles

Knowledge and understanding of general contract law principles and awareness of key issues in contracts, such as Sale of Goods and Services Act 1982, limitations of liability, indemnities, warranties and termination rights.

Environment and Sustainability

Awareness of environmental issues, with due regard to any sustainability/energy efficiency practices and standards.

Mentoring

Methods and techniques for providing mentoring support to less experienced individuals.

Latest Cyber Security Threats for Senior Execs

Short, high-level, up-to-date and to-the-point briefing on the latest threats and vulnerabilities in cyber security.

PDAs

PDA Components

Title Details

Job Shadowing and Special Assignments

Undertaking temporary periods or secondments in other roles, inside or outside IT, particularly those that offer a new perspective on own function or exposure to other environments and cultures.

Project Assignments

Participating in a project team, working group or task force established to deliver a solution to a specific problem or issue – especially valuable if the group is inter-disciplinary.

Mentoring

Acting as a mentor, advising those for whom there is no direct responsibility, on matters to do with their job role, career and professional development.

Gaining Knowledge of Broader IT Issues

Increasing and maintaining currency of knowledge of broader IT issues through reading, attending and participating in seminars or conferences, special studies, temporary assignments etc.

Gaining Strategic Knowledge of Employing Organisation

Developing a comprehensive understanding of the business environment in which the employing organisation operates and its position, policies and direction in relation to industry, country and global issues.

Gaining Knowledge of Standards and Legislation

Gaining and maintaining knowledge of relevant national and international standards and legislation.

Participation in Professional Body Affairs

Taking an active part in professional body affairs at branch, specialist group, committee or board level.

Management Development

Undertaking learning and best practice of the skills appropriate to managing all or part of an organisation, including business and financial management, benefits management, people management, management of change and strategic planning. This will require both on and off the job learning and may include participation in an appropriate development programme such as MBA or DMS (Diploma in Management Studies).

Qualifications

Qualification Components

Title Awarding Body

Chartered IT Professional (CITP)

BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT

FEDIP Leading Practitioner

FEDIP

Organisation Skills

Framework » Organisation
Category » Subcategory
Skill Name and Description Level

DDaT » IT Operations

IT Operations – Coding and scripting (infrastructure engineer)

You can understand the limitations of software or product technology, and why coding is important. You can prototype code, but you won’t necessarily have to make production-ready code. You can talk to developers and know when to switch code. You can understand security, accessibility and version control.

2 – Working

You can interact with and read code. You can write HTML and carry out baseline repair activities.

DDaT » IT Operations

IT Operations – Information security

You can maintain the security, confidentiality and integrity of information systems through compliance with relevant legislation and regulations. You can design, implement and operate controls and management strategies to allow this.

3 – Practitioner

You can understand information security. You can design solutions and services with security controls embedded, specifically engineered with mitigation of security threats as a core feature.

DDaT » IT Operations

IT Operations – IT infrastructure

You can support, design and implement infrastructure technologies and solutions. These can include computing, storage, networking, physical infrastructure, software, commercial-off-the-shelf software (COTS), and open-source packages and solutions. They can also include virtual and cloud computing such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).

3 – Practitioner

You can design, implement, administer and support infrastructure technologies, solutions and services. These can include computing, storage, networking, physical infrastructure, software, commercial-off-the-shelf software (COTS), and open source packages and solutions. They can also include virtual and cloud computing such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).

DDaT » IT Operations

IT Operations – Modern standards approach

You can apply a modern standards approach throughout automation and testing.

4 – Expert

You can demonstrate a strong understanding of the most appropriate modern standards and practices, and how they are applied. You can coach and guide others in these standards.

DDaT » IT Operations

IT Operations – Ownership and initiative

You can take ownership of problems and proactively resolve technical problems, ensuring that technical solutions continue to meet business requirements. You can take full accountability for the actions taken and decisions made.

3 – Practitioner

You can take accountability for issues that occur and be proactive in searching for potential problems. You can achieve excellent user outcomes.

DDaT » IT Operations

IT Operations – Problem management

You can understand and identify problems, analysing and helping to identify the appropriate solution. You can classify and prioritise problems, document their causes and implement remedies.

3 – Practitioner

You can ensure that the right actions are taken to investigate, resolve and anticipate problems. You can co- ordinate the team to investigate problems, implement solutions and take preventive measures.

DDaT » IT Operations

IT Operations – Service focus

You can maintain focus on the whole life of service delivery (designing, developing, delivering and operating). You can ensure that a set of IT products, suppliers and vendors come together to deliver an IT service.

3 – Practitioner

You can see the bigger picture by taking groups of services and investigating how to get the best of underlying services.

DDaT » IT Operations

IT Operations – Systems design

You can create the specification and design of systems to meet defined business needs. You can work with business and technology stakeholders to translate business problems into technical designs. You can visualise the ideal user service and come up with design ideas and possible design approaches. You can effectively explore different approaches to solving problems.

4 – Expert

You can design systems characterised by high levels of risk, impact, and business or technical complexity. You can control system design practice within an enterprise or industry architecture. You can influence industry-based models for the development of new technology applications. You can develop effective implementation and procurement strategies, consistent with business needs. You can ensure adherence to relevant technical strategies, policies, standards and practices.

DDaT » IT Operations

IT Operations – Systems integration

You can identify integration points between systems and processes, designing data contracts and communication between the components. You can make use of modern design patterns that reduce risk and complexity where possible. You can perform integration tests as part of the development process, drawing on suitable testing frameworks and methodologies.

4 – Expert

You can establish standards and procedures across a service product life cycle, including the development product life cycle, and can ensure that practitioners adhere to these. You can manage resources to ensure that the systems integration function works effectively.

DDaT » IT Operations

IT Operations – Technical understanding

You can demonstrate knowledge of the specific technologies necessary to fulfil the responsibilities and tasks of the role. You can apply the required breadth and depth of technical knowledge. You can actively keep informed of industry developments to make cost-effective use of new and emerging tools and technologies.

3 – Practitioner

You can show a thorough understanding of the technical concepts required for the role, and can explain how these fit into the wider technical landscape.

DDaT » IT Operations

IT Operations – Testing

You can plan, design, manage, execute and report tests, using appropriate tools and techniques. You can work within regulations. You can ensure that risks associated with deployment are adequately understood and documented.

4 – Expert

You can manage testing activities within development or integration activities. You can manage risks and take preventative action when risks become unacceptable. You can manage customer relations.

DDaT » IT Operations

IT Operations – Troubleshooting and problem resolution

You can think laterally to break a problem down into its component parts to identify and diagnose root causes, allowing problem resolution. You can troubleshoot and identify problems across different technology capabilities that can include computing, storage, networking, physical infrastructure, software, commercial-off-the-shelf software (COTS), and open-source packages and solutions. They can also include virtual and cloud computing such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).

4 – Expert

You can use lateral thinking to break a problem down into its component parts to identify and diagnose root causes. You can troubleshoot and identify problems across different technology capabilities including computing, storage, networking, physical infrastructure, software, commercial-off-the-shelf software (COTS) and open- source software.

This job role profile was created in collaboration with BCS, using Role Model Plus. BCS is the professional body that has the responsibility of updating this job family.

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