By Scott Tyson, Managing Director, EMEA, Auvik Networks
So you’ve woken up, poured your coffee, hopped in the car, and arrived at work on time. You’re off to a good start. But if you log onto your computer and discover you can’t connect to the internet, your day quickly becomes a nightmare.
If a problem causes the network to go down, it can bring your operation to a standstill. Employees become frustrated and unproductive, and the interruption becomes extremely costly—according to a 2014 Gartner report, network downtime costs about £4,350 per minute.
So it’s no surprise the TechTarget IT Priorities 2018 survey found network management was one of 300 IT professionals’ top priorities last year, along with automation and the cloud. Building a network is often the easy part of being an IT administrator. The real challenge is managing the network to keep it running smoothly and securely at all times so employees can stay connected and the business can stay profitable.
That could be why the top priority (23.4%) for admins who said they planned to invest in the network is better monitoring and management. In the age of cloud, distributed computing, and remote working, when networks can stretch across hundreds of physical sites and involve thousands of people and devices, handling that complexity proactively (and effectively) is tougher than ever.
Why is network management so important now?
Admins today have to be able to monitor their networks from anywhere. Not having physical access to core network infrastructure is no longer an excuse for failing to keep tabs on network performance, topology, and inventory. That’s because it’s now possible to monitor and administer the network through online access.
Of course, network management isn’t only about keeping your head above water and maintaining the status quo. It’s also a way to make networks better than they already are.
That’s a key point since IT departments are so often tasked with doing more for less.
In that respect, software that automates network topology and inventory, manages network device configurations, and monitors network performance is a way to discover opportunities to improve the network. Having that remote insight into the network also allows you to proactively spot potential issues that could interrupt operations.
Not to mention that by automating those manual network tasks, you save your IT team a ton of time.
Adopting a network management solution
Since investing in network management pays so many dividends, why aren’t more organisations already taking advantage of it? One reason is the difficulty of streamlining management and monitoring solutions across environments that involve hardware and software from multiple vendors, or that span both wired and wireless infrastructure.
But that concern is becoming less and less relevant. Modern network management tools, especially those not developed by hardware vendors themselves, are designed to work well in diverse environments. That’s as it should be since the majority of business networks are comprised of multiple hardware vendors.
Modern network management tools also do a much better job than previous generations of centralising control and monitoring. Admins can keep track of everything from a single location, using a single software platform. That’s a particularly important asset for small and mid-sized businesses that don’t have the time or capital to deploy and learn multiple network management solutions.
The bottom line? Good, proactive network management is now more important than ever to keep employees connected and operations running smoothly. Otherwise, you could be surprised by a network problem that takes down your entire operation.
About Scott Tyson
Based in the UK, Scott Tyson is the EMEA managing director for Auvik Networks. Prior to Auvik, Scott was head of global sales at Inbay, where he drove significant company growth in EMEA, North America, Australia, and New Zealand, and founded the company’s first international office. At one time a professional cricket player, Scott emigrated from his native Australia to the UK in 1998, before starting in channel management in 2002. Since then, he’s held senior roles in both the UK and Australia building out regional and global sales channels for companies such as SpectraLink, AdvaTel, and Mailprotector.