Business infrastructure, even a decade ago, looked nothing like today’s flexible and scalable IT networks.
So attempting to accurately monitor the applications, traffic, and devices that access it (or potentially disrupt it) is next to impossible using legacy management tools.
Fortunately, as IT networks and infrastructure have evolved, so too have the strategies to monitor them. These modern monitoring solutions help to improve the visibility of operating infrastructure and the efficiency of your business. They can help increase uptime, refine asset usage, improve application performance, and improve customer retention.
Before it's possible to make genuine improvements to your monitoring systems, it’s important to inventory your infrastructure both as a whole and as individual components. This inventory should itemise all key assets including servers, routers, distribution switches, firewalls, and any devices that help keep your network running. This critical infrastructure list will serve as the framework for assessing where your infrastructure can be improved.
Identify which assets are currently being overused and which are underutilised. Knowing which IT assets are overused helps to prevent service disruptions, which can reduce costs associated with unwanted downtime. Assessing asset and network usage patterns also helps provide greater insights into other aspects of the business such as customer acquisition trends or transaction data.
Identifying underutilised assets means they can be repurposed or reassigned rather than needing to allocate capital to new assets. This asset utilisation assessment process really helps to highlight where you will be able to make the largest efficiency increases and realise potential cost savings.
Set up alerts to notify you or the specific server and application teams when the network deviates from the baseline. The early identification of issues can help to resolve problems before services or customers are adversely impacted. In most cases this alert system needs to be aligned with your working hours so that the alerts go to the relevant staff during business hours and to an on call system for out of hours issues.
Identify when the most effective time for maintenance work to be carried out is and then plan in advance accordingly. Network issues can arise or are made significantly worse when the maintenance scheduling is haphazard. Use traffic trends and usage patterns as the basis for when the optimum maintenance times occur so they can be carried out with minimal business impact.
Ensure you are measuring performance and comparing it to industry leaders. This provides a sense of how your network infrastructure compares to best practices and where you can improve. Network and infrastructure monitoring solutions exist that allow you to monitor whether the services you are actually delivering are in line with what your organisation promises. This helps ensure that the delivery of quality services is in line with reportable goals.
While it’s undoubtedly valuable to monitor your infrastructure internally to ensure network and business processes are running smoothly, you also need to monitor it from the viewpoint of a user to gain a more complete understanding of how your business is performing. Ultimately, performance is relative, so your business is being compared to others on a daily basis. If you don’t know how you stack up against the competition, then you don’t have good visibility on how the business is viewed by your customers.
Creating a monitoring strategy isn’t a simple process but it is a worthwhile one. The benefits it brings are numerous and allow your organisation to know at all times whether the network is running optimally as well as alert you immediately when issues are detected. A robust strategy will help prevent customer impacts, gather usage data to generate insights, and effectively protect business revenue and the company brand.
To find out more about how your business can benefit from implementing a leading monitoring strategy for your infrastructure, talk to the experts at FinXL.