Computer network management is a little bit like property maintenance. You need to constantly monitor for potential issues so you can deal with them before they become real problems that cost you money.
Imagine how annoyed you would be if your house roof had been suffering a minor but undetected leak for months, and you only found out about it when your bedroom ceiling caved in. An odd analogy but it perfectly illustrates the point that a small problem not detected early can cause a large issue.
Until now, outsourcing network management has been an expensive business, and ironically out of the reach of the smaller companies who need it most, but today’s sophisticated management tools are transforming network management from a chore into a highly cost effective business advantage.
A healthy, smooth-running IT network means you benefit from fewer disruptions, increased productivity and reduced security risks.
In our role as the North East’s leading ICT and data centre services expert, we use best of breed tools to monitor and manage every component of hundreds of our clients’ networks, from hardware and software to switches and firewalls, round the clock for every day of the year. As well as constantly scouring for potential problems and failures and operating as an IT asset management function, these smart systems can identify issues such as a server that is coming up to full capacity, or a patch update that is needed, working right down to a micro-level where you are notified in advance when your printer is due to run out of toner.
Clients who opt to outsource their network management to us report that the main advantage lies in taking away the worry of coming into the office in the morning to find their systems are down, or not working correctly. As well as removing everyday support headaches it provides them with real time detailed information on the health of their network, such as support call patterns and network performance and behaviour, which in turn feeds back into their IT strategy and helps them to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
Network management support contracts can be incredibly flexible. For instance at a gold level you could expect your IT partner to proactively manage your network, receiving notifications from the managed service portal, fixing faults, addressing issues and reporting progress back to you before you are even aware of them. At silver level, you could opt for your IT partner to receive all portal notifications and to create, manage and monitor support tickets while you take responsibility for fixing problems; and at bronze level your IT partner should be able to give you direct access to the managed service portal, giving you the tools to directly administer and operate your network.
At all levels of service you should be able to expect daily, weekly, monthly and annual reports so you can see at a glance what is going on.
Network management contracts are becoming an increasingly popular choice for all types and sizes of organisation, and we manage networks that are on the client’s own site or housed in our North East data centres, and we work equally successfully alongside companies who have their own IT team and those without any in-house IT resource.
When you have invested thousands of pounds in your network you need it working at optimum levels, but if you are not careful you could find that the amount of time you invest in managing your network is disproportionate to the value that time returns.
If all that has convinced you it’s time to take a smarter look at network management, talk to our experts to see how we can help.