The IT infrastructure in organisations today is an outgrowth of over 50 years of evolution in computing platforms. There have been five stages in this evolution, each representing a different configuration of computing power and infrastructure elements.
The five eras are general-purpose mainframe and minicomputer computing, personal computers, client/server networks, enterprise computing, and cloud and mobile computing.
Technologies that characterise one era may also be used in another time period for other purposes.
For example, some companies still run traditional mainframe systems or use mainframe computers as massive servers supporting large Web sites and corporate enterprise applications.