Provisioning Definition & Meaning

Provisioning is the process of making IT resources, data, and other technology services available to users and customers. It’s a general term that refers to multiple types of services, specifically referring to the initial setup of the services. The term typically is used in reference to enterprise-level resource management. Examples of provisioning include providing access to databases and computer systems, preparing a company device for a new employee, or readying an entire network for general use.

What is provisioning?

Provisioning can be done manually or automatically: IT teams and managers can manually prepare hardware and install software before it’s all configured, or they can hire a service provider that will automate all the standard provisioning tasks. Preparing computing and account resources for people to use can fall into multiple categories.

Server provisioning involves ensuring that hardware and software are usable and connected to the computer program. Setting up a server in a data center and preparing it for use within the center and the network is an example of server provisioning.

User provisioning involves access management — giving account users certain privileges and access. This includes managing employee access to company applications so workers can use the software they need for their roles; an IT administrator or team might do this when a new employee joins the company. User provisioning is important for security; failing to provision user devices and accounts successfully can be a security hazard. In some industries, user provisioning is also necessary to be compliant with data protection regulations. Privileged access management, which strongly controls who accesses what, is one method of managing user provisioning.

Service provisioning is the process of preparing a service for use, such as a new Internet connection, a recently purchased phone plan, a piece of hardware for rent, or a cloud service that a company pays to utilize.

Customer provisioning is providing account information and access to customers or business clients (such as a third party vendor that needs to be able to use an application to work for a company).

Difference between provisioning and configuring

Though they sound similar, configuring and provisioning hardware or software are two different things. Configuring takes place after provisioning: once a server has been initially installed in the data center, for instance, it must then be configured. Configuring is the work of giving the server more clear instructions and tailoring the server to work specifically how it’s needed. The server might need to be connected to certain networks, be programmed for better data analysis, or be updated so that it meets certain security requirements.

 

 

Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps is a contributor for websites such as Webopedia.com and Enterprise Storage Forum. She writes about information technology security, networking, and data storage. Jenna lives in Nashville, TN.

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