The 5 Things Every CTO Should Know About Network Monitoring
Network monitoring is the kind of topic chief technology officers don’t think about until it becomes an urgent matter. We should know – our team routinely gets calls for consultations after an IT mishap. By then, the issue has cost our new client hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. It’s only when credibility has been lost, bonuses have disappeared, and jobs are on the line that they start to realize how pressing the need is to keep an eye on servers.
No one likes to imagine worst-case scenarios, and it’s easy to assume your IT staff has everything covered. We know from firsthand experience that’s rarely the case. To help you understand why, and to keep you from avoiding the kinds of career-killing mistakes we see again and again, we want to share with you the five things every CTO or other executive should know about network monitoring…
#1 What You Don’t Know About Network Monitoring Can Hurt You
Usually, when a new client schedules an emergency meeting with Alvaka technicians, it’s because they were blindsided with a major problem. Perhaps one of their servers became overloaded and shut down the network... along with all the apps that were running on it. Or, their VOIP system failed to route calls to the correct centers, leaving customers without the ability to place orders or submit customer service requests. It could be that a website stopped generating sales through a holiday weekend, or email servers were corrupted and both new messages and existing backups were lost.
If you don’t have the proper network monitoring solutions in place, you could run into these exact same problems – or even worse. What you don’t know about your systems can hurt you. Sooner or later, some of your technology is going to fail, and it’s probably going to fail when you need it most. If no one is watching when that happens, or knows how to react, the costs to your company and the hits to your credibility could add up quickly.
#2 Sophisticated Software Isn’t the Answer
Of course, executives and IT managers know network monitoring is a crucial challenge. That’s why there are so many sophisticated software packages designed to provide you with the diagnostic information you need. Some are free, while others require six-figure investments. Regardless of the price, they come with a steep learning curve. For most companies, that means 9 to 18 months of development before they can begin to glean any useful information.
Even worse, these tools require expert installation, configuration, and ongoing supervision. Because the resources and expertise aren’t available, companies install these packages without ever utilizing them. Then, when the inevitable happens, the question is: “We spent so much on network monitoring software, so why didn’t we see this coming?” That’s when your reputation is on the line, and there aren’t any good answers to deliver.
#3 Too Much Information Is Even Worse Than Too Little
The major shortcoming associated with network monitoring software tools is that they provide feedback, but not in a clear or actionable way. Instead, they provide endless streams of messages that quickly overload IT support personnel. Employees who are on-call are faced with two equally unpleasant choices: they can either receive lots of meaningless updates by phone or text at all hours, or ignore everything and hope there aren’t any big problems when they’re away from their desks.
Neither is going to be very appealing. A network of any size is going to have minor problems and alerts throughout the day and into the night after the IT team has gone home. If there isn’t anyone around who can properly analyze, decode, and react to the continuous diagnostic messages that are coming in, then it’s worse than having no network monitoring system at all. That leaves companies with a false sense of security.
#4 Network Monitoring Isn’t Network Maintenance
Knowing these challenges exist, some executives and IT managers look to outsourced network monitoring vendors. The lowest priced of these offer support from overseas, and typically promise 24/7 coverage. As with most things in life, you’re going to get what you pay for.
The vast majority of so-called network monitoring works by having an outsourced IT person on call, but not actually present to analyze warnings in real-time. Even worse, they may involve technicians with limited English speaking skills reporting outages and other major errors after the fact, rather than helping to prevent them in the first place. Having someone call you from halfway around the world in the middle of the night to tell you your technology is melting down isn’t nearly as useful as getting proactive, real-time support from someone who knows your business and network.
#5 Help Is Available When You’re Ready
At Alvaka, we began offering advanced network systems management after realizing just how many businesses needed a true monitoring and support solution. Rather than simply having a technician tell them they were facing big challenges after the fact, they wanted to work with an American vendor who could help them avoid outages and crises in the first place.
For that reason, we offer true 24/7/365 network monitoring for organizations who want to stay up-and-running at all times, without hiring huge IT teams or burning out their already-overworked staff members. We get to know our clients, and establish protocols for preventing outages and restoring service. And best of all, we do it by hiring the industry’s best after they’ve been thoroughly screened and trained.
We see ourselves as an extension of your IT department, working to ensure you have affordable and effective coverage at the times you need it most. Are you ready to stop worrying about what happens with your network when you’re not watching and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having a committed team of professionals on your side?
You can schedule a consultation with the Alvaka Networks team today by calling 949.428.5000. We will be happy to give you a customized quote, let you see case studies from recent clients, and show you how easy it is to get the support you need. Take a moment to set up your meeting now – it could be the most important thing you do for your company and career this month!