9 Truths IT Pros Must Live By
While every modern organization is unique, they all have one thing in common: the speed of business relies upon network performance. Communication, collaboration, and commerce can all suffer if networks, applications, and servers are not monitored to ensure optimal performance.
With so much riding on network functionality, managing this infrastructure is central to IT's core mission. By understanding nine noble truths of network, server, and application monitoring, IT can stay ahead.
Truth #1: The network is exploding. Demands on the network continue to skyrocket. Balancing the bandwidth needs of business-critical applications with the influx of consumer devices connecting to the network can be a challenge. Naturally, many networks are not prepared for this type of growth and this contributes to the difficulty of maintaining uptime, performance, and service levels. To stay ahead, IT must be able to pinpoint and manage "bandwidth hogs" to prevent service degradation.
Truth #2: Poor performance halts business. Today’s IT infrastructure has never been more business-critical and user expectations have never been higher. Where the average person deals with the inconvenience of an Internet outage or poor performance, business comes to a halt and sees millions of dollars in losses. IT is no longer a back-office function and is now the primary way organizations engage with customers, employees, and partners. With strong IT infrastructure, organizations have a competitive edge and are more likely to deliver superior financial results, including greater revenue growth and profitability than industry peers.
Truth #3: IT complexity is growing faster than IT teams. IT is continually charged with doing more with less. With IT roles expected to shrink, the consumerization of IT, escalating IT regulatory compliance demands, and increased security threats, the complexity of IT continues to mount. To manage this growing complexity while maintaining smaller headcounts, budget, and footprint, organizations need simple and powerful IT management tools that are easy to deploy and implement in a moment’s notice.
Truth #4: Downtime is not an option. In today’s non-stop world, systems must run smoothly 24/7 and any interruption means a halt to the entire business. As organizations continue to rely on the network to get business done, the cost of downtime only continues to rise. Availability and performance of critical systems become the most important responsibility of any IT team. To minimize business risk and the cost of downtime, IT teams must allocate network resources effectively to mitigate issues before users are impacted.
Truth #5: Performance defines reputation. Few things affect user perception more than the availability and performance of applications on the network. From the perspective of customers, partners, and employees, the network is the business and its reputation is on the line every time it’s accessed. Unfortunately, reputational damage lasts far beyond recovery times. IT needs to deliver expected results, rapidly and with minimal disruption.
Truth #6: Find and fix problems before users are impacted. IT teams shouldn’t discover problems through an open ticket; they should be able to proactively identify and resolve issues before users report service degradations. With the right IT infrastructure, potential network performance problems will be found and fixed well before a user can submit a helpdesk complaint.
Truth #7: Unified monitoring is crucial. Unified monitoring is essential as IT teams cope with escalating IT complexity and diversity. No matter where a problem lies, IT must be able to conclusively identify root causes and assign responsibility for resolving issues — and the only way to do that is to have complete visibility across the entire infrastructure.
Truth #8: Automatic discovery and continuous dependency mapping saves time. Today’s networks are highly dynamic with changes happening quickly and continuously. The ability to see and understand the relationship among devices is critical to managing IT infrastructure. Automated tools for discovery and dependency mapping save time and effort – while also supporting IT agility. To even think about being agile, IT needs to understand what devices are present, where they are, and how they relate to each other.
Truth #9: Simplicity and automation accelerate time-to-value. As pressure mounts on IT to meet availability targets, automation becomes essential for IT teams to understand the network’s health. In a world of increasing complexity, IT teams need tools that solve real problems, install easily, don’t require expert installation, and deliver rapid time-to-value and ROI. Simply put, IT teams want tools that just work – no fuss, no muss.
These nine noble truths boil down to this: IT infrastructure is the business, and the ability to maintain and optimize its operation is only as good as the real-time and historical information allocated to IT.
About the Author:
Aaron Kelly is the vice president of Product Management at Ipswitch and is responsible for driving product strategy, innovation, and visibility. Aaron is also on the Open Design Alliance board of directors. Prior to Ipswitch, Aaron worked at SolidWorks (now part of Dassault Systèmes) for more than 20 years, and most recently served as the firm’s vice president of User Experience and Product Portfolio Management.