Out of hours support - What happens when your network fails in the middle of the night?
â€˜Workinâ€™ 9 to 5â€™, Dolly Parton sang back in 1980. Thanks to growing shift work, mobile devices and flexible working practices, such a strict daily routine may not resonate as strongly as it once did. But, nevertheless, there is certainly a point in the working day at which your staff down tools and are able to put their feet up.
Itâ€™s a different story when it comes to your IT infrastructure. In todayâ€™s ultra-connected world, the majority of enterprise IT systems need to run 24x7x365. Sell products online? That canâ€™t switch off just because your staff have gone home for the evening. Want to carry on receiving emails overnight? Of course you do. Many business-IT systems carry out important processing overnight, too.
This introduces a problem. If nobody is in the office to keep monitoring your network, what happens if it fails?
Your businessâ€™s network needs an out of hours system in place, to flag up and fix problems that occur when your full IT complement is not in the office. But what does that system look like?
Broadly, there are three options available to you. First, you can employ a team of out of hours engineers â€“ just as you might employ a caretaker to look after your physical premises. This gives you the peace of mind that company employees are monitoring your network at all hours, but it is also expensive, and it may be complicated to schedule, if those engineers need to share daytime shifts with your normal monitoring team.
Second, you can employ a third party â€“ just as if that caretaker was supplied by an external agency, rather than being directly on your payroll. This introduces greater flexibility, as well as the expertise of a specialist monitoring professional but, once again, it is expensive.
Thirdly, you can deploy automated network monitoring tools â€“ a truly modern approach and one that offers far great flexibility, agility and scalability to support your business growth. Such tools automatically monitor all the critical systems on your network, continually reporting on issues ranging from bandwidth and application performance, to potential cyber-security alerts. Sophisticated systems can even be combined with physical sensors such as temperature & humidity probes, ensuring that environmental problems do not impact on your IT performance.
Crucially, automated network monitoring never stops and this is a particularly important consideration for multi-national businesses which require customer-facing systems to be constantly up in different time zones.
Deploying always-on network-monitoring tools has benefits beyond ensuring that your systems are continually running smoothly, vital though that is. Added benefits include:
Standardised, automated alerts by SMS and/or email. You donâ€™t need to worry about an out-of-hours team member misinterpreting or miscommunicating the problem.
Cloud-based monitoring is extremely flexible and scalable, which means it can stretch and grows as your business does. You donâ€™t need to upgrade your monitoring solution each time you take on a new batch of customers, or during busy sales periods like the run-up to Christmas, for example.
Automation of repairs and traffic re-routing is offered. Automation doesnâ€™t stop at the identification of the problem â€“ it runs right through a business-continuity plan, ensuring no interruption to day-to-day operations.
You will gain far greater visibility into your business operations. With information pertaining to downtime, bandwidth usage, network performance and cyber threats at your fingertips, you constantly have valuable business intelligence with which to make strategic decisions.
Most of your staff may still be working the 9 to 5, but automated network monitoring tools will ensure that your business is running smoothly from 5 to 9 â€“ and beyond.
If you would like to see a live demonstration of the Mutiny monitoring product or discuss the options available, please get in touch.