The global skills and competency framework for the digital world

Infrastructure design [prototype] IFDN


Designing and planning IT infrastructure systems to meet business requirements, ensuring scalability, reliability, security, and alignment with strategic objectives.

SFIA 9 is in development

  • SFIA 9 beta due in early July 2024
  • SFIA 9 planned for publication October 2024

This is a prototype for SFIA 9. It is subject to change before publication.

Disclaimer - prototypes/new skills may be substantially modified prior to launch or may never be released.

Guidance notes


Infrastructure design involves developing architectural frameworks for the technology environment including hardware, software, network components, and cloud services. This skill ensures that infrastructure solutions support current and future business needs. It includes creating design specifications, integrating systems, and aligning designs with organisational goals and standards. Infrastructure design supports the alignment of individual system designs to ensure compatibility, performance, and security across the IT environment.

Activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • developing detailed infrastructure design specifications and diagrams
  • ensuring compatibility and integration between different infrastructure components
  • designing systems for scalability, performance, and reliability
  • incorporating security measures into infrastructure design
  • ensuring designs adhere to industry standards and regulatory requirements
  • collaborating with stakeholders to align infrastructure design with business objectives
  • maintaining comprehensive documentation of the design process and decisions
  • integrating cloud services into the infrastructure design.

Understanding the responsibility levels of this skill

Where lower levels are not defined...

  • Specific tasks and responsibilities are not defined because the skill requires a higher level of autonomy, influence, and complexity in decision-making than is typically expected at these levels. You can use the essence statements to understand the generic responsibilities associated with these levels.

Where higher levels are not defined...

  • Responsibilities and accountabilities are not defined because these higher levels involve strategic leadership and broader organisational influence that goes beyond the scope of this specific skill. See the essence statements.

Developing skills and demonstrating responsibilities related to this skill

The defined levels show the incremental progression in skills and reponsibilities.

Where lower levels are not defined...

You can develop your knowledge and support others who do have responsibility in this area by:

  • Learning key concepts and principles related to this skill and its impact on your role
  • Performing related skills (see the related SFIA skills)
  • Supporting others with tasks (generic examples are provided by the essence statements for each level)

Where higher levels are not defined...

  • You can progress by developing related skills which are better suited to higher levels of organisational leadership.


Defined at these levels: 2 3 4 5 6

Show/hide extra descriptions and levels.

Level 1

Level 1 - Follow: Essence of the level: Performs routine tasks under close supervision, follows instructions, and requires guidance to complete their work. Learns and applies basic skills and knowledge.

Infrastructure design [prototype]: Level 2

Level 2 - Assist: Essence of the level: Provides assistance to others, works under routine supervision, and uses their discretion to address routine problems. Actively learns through training and on-the-job experiences.


Assists in developing preliminary infrastructure design specifications under routine supervision.

Uses standard design tools and methodologies to contribute to infrastructure design activities.

Helps draft design documents and diagrams. Documents design-related issues.

Infrastructure design [prototype]: Level 3

Level 3 - Apply: Essence of the level: Performs varied tasks, sometimes complex and non-routine, using standard methods and procedures. Works under general direction, exercises discretion, and manages own work within deadlines. Proactively enhances skills and impact in the workplace.


Performs varied infrastructure design tasks, including complex and non-routine assignments, using standard methods.

Develops design specifications and diagrams for infrastructure components. Ensures compatibility and integration of hardware, software, network elements, and cloud services.

Collaborates with others to align infrastructure design with organisational objectives and resolve design issues.

Suggests improvements to enhance infrastructure performance and reliability.

Infrastructure design [prototype]: Level 4

Level 4 - Enable: Essence of the level: Performs diverse complex activities, supports and supervises others, works autonomously under general direction, and contributes expertise to deliver team objectives.


Leads the design of complex infrastructure systems to deliver comprehensive design solutions.

Develops detailed architectural frameworks and ensures integration of all infrastructure components, including cloud services.

Provides guidance on best practices and design standards. Reviews and validates design specifications and documentation.

Ensures that designs are scalable, reliable, and secure, aligning with business and technical requirements.

Infrastructure design [prototype]: Level 5

Level 5 - Ensure, advise: Essence of the level: Provides authoritative guidance in their field and works under broad direction. Accountable for achieving workgroup objectives and managing work from analysis to execution and evaluation.


Manages the design of infrastructure from analysis to execution and evaluation.

Accountable for achieving design objectives and ensuring alignment with organisational goals and the effective integration of infrastructure components and systems. Provides authoritative guidance on design practices and methodologies.

Evaluates new technologies and their applicability to the organisation's needs. Develops and enforces design standards and best practices, ensuring consistent and high-quality design outcomes.

Infrastructure design [prototype]: Level 6

Level 6 - Initiate, influence: Essence of the level: Has significant organisational influence, makes high-level decisions, shapes policies, demonstrates leadership, fosters organizational collaboration, and accepts accountability in key areas.


Develops and drives adoption of and adherence to organisational policies, standards, guidelines, and methods for infrastructure design.

Makes high-level infrastructure design decisions that solutions that drive business value.

Collaborates with senior stakeholders to align design projects with organisational objectives.

Provides strategic oversight and guidance, ensuring that infrastructure designs are forward-looking, scalable, and secure.

Accountable for the overall success of infrastructure design initiatives.

Level 7

Level 7 - Set strategy, inspire, mobilise: Essence of the level: Operates at the highest organisational level, determines overall organisational vision and strategy, and assumes accountability for overall success.

New skill