You run a successful business, and you know your business inside and out. You understand that effective 24x7 monitoring of your IT infrastructure is essential to safeguarding the productivity of your business. When something goes wrong in your network, and you don’t know about it, the results can be catastrophic for your business, your clients, and your bottom line. The effects of network downtime are not only costly to your business, but often preventable.
Your IT department is an integral part of your operations, but how can your staff perform optimally if they are constantly interrupted by minor outages and nuisance alarms? Before getting overwhelmed by the idea of new hires, implementing extensive training sessions, or hiring consultants, consider the option of outsourcing your monitoring to highly specialized engineers. Let’s look at the benefits of outsourcing your monitoring to a Network Operations Center, or NOC partner.
1 — Cost Savings
The cost involved in setting up your IT department with the infrastructure they need to monitor your business is a significant investment in hardware, software, and man hours. Ongoing changes in your business and technology are rapid and your IT staff is likely already taxed in keeping up with everything. Outsourcing monitoring services allows you to cost-effectively supplement your staff. You can not only reduce the time and money spent on new equipment and training, but also on hiring new staff, saving you a lot of money in the long run. NOC partners already have the resources, expertise, and skills you’ll need. They’ll also offer a mature, managed monitoring platform and can offer additional capabilities you may not have considered, such as inbound call support and outage remediation.
Aside from delegating unwanted tasks to your NOC partner, ask them how they can help make your current processes and procedures more efficient and effective. Potential services include handling customer calls (even after hours), creating custom alerts for network impairments, and minimizing false alarms using intentional delays, classes of service, and flexible thresholds. These extra capabilities will leave your IT department free to work on projects that add value to your business and enhance productivity since your staff will no longer be stretched thin or bothered by too many distractions. Outsourcing the NOC function maximizes the return on budget dollars, giving you increased performance and monitoring capabilities for much less than the cost of doing it yourself.
2 — Empower Your Staff
NOC partners can also aid your employees with their current responsibilities. They empower your staff with a platform that gives your team increased visibility into the status and operation of your infrastructure, while your NOC partner focuses on the health of your network. Network monitoring and remediation will be handled by dedicated professionals, and your team will stay informed via a web-based monitoring portal using the device of their choice.
Working with an outsourced NOC partner also reduces the number of tools and platforms needed to effectively monitor your IT infrastructure, giving your team single-pane-of-glass visibility into the health of your systems. Should anything come up, you will have a dedicated team of experts available to verify the issue, attempt to fix it, or call you to escalate.
3 — Keep Important Tasks In-house and Increase Productivity
Having in-house IT engineers handle the NOC function can be very expensive, and if this is their primary role, there will likely be both highly active periods when their expertise is useful, but also frequent downtimes where their skills are underutilized.
An outsourced NOC partner will collaborate with you to develop ‘runbooks’, or documented standard operating procedures, which will enable your NOC partner to troubleshoot and resolve most common outages. This enables you to transfer the responsibility of time-consuming tasks to a less expensive resource, and assign your staff to more important tasks that actually take advantage of their capabilities and valuable time. Give your in-house team the opportunity to work high-priority and high-value assignments, while minimizing the number of distractions and interruptions they’ve been consistently facing.
4 — Leverage Your NOC Partner’s Expertise to Make Better Decisions
In much the same way that you outsource other services to industry experts, monitoring is no different. The skillset for monitoring is specialized. NOC partners bring their decades of experience and expertise to bear on your most pressing monitoring challenges. They can go much deeper than simply monitoring ping response or SNMP polls, developing custom pollers which actually put your applications, overnight jobs, backups, and websites through their paces. They can prove that your critical systems and processes are not just available, but also that they’re working. Of course, they’ll also provide more customary monitoring for things like bandwidth and CPU utilization, network link status, disk storage, errors, power and more.
Your NOC partner will make this information available in a variety of formats including graphs, reports, trend analysis, and expert collaboration. This information will allow your IT staff to identify weaknesses and achieve better results through a deeper understanding of how your systems are operating. All of these capabilities combine to make your IT staff more informed and more productive. Better information leads to better decisions on the best way to manage and administer your networks.
5 — Enjoy Around The Clock Monitoring
Chances are, while you likely have highly efficient and skilled IT staff, they can't be working every hour of every day. People have to eat and sleep, right? It takes a minimum staff of 7 engineers to properly monitor your IT infrastructure 24x7. Don’t think of outsourcing as a way to replace your in-house staff, but rather as a way to help them. Your IT department has enough on their plate working on in-house projects, so it is prudent to partner with a NOC services partner skilled in monitoring your routers and switches, firewalls, VPNs, wireless access points, LANs/WANs/MANs, servers, applications, and websites—and who can do so 24 hours a day. The ultimate goal is to give you the peace of mind that your systems are being monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. You'll also have full confidence that your IT department is unhampered in their commitment to your business goals and projects.
Your NOC partner has a vast level of experience across multiple industries and has worked with many companies. They can meet your unique needs and are qualified to address any surprise issues that arise. You also have access to subject matter experts at all times. Forget the days of having someone on-call. Your NOC team is available during the day, in the evening, and on the weekends, not just 9-5. You won’t experience any downtime or loss of resources due to holidays, sick time, vacations, or attrition. You're always covered!
Outsourcing Network Monitoring Services Just Makes Good Business Sense
Regardless of the size of your business or the industry you're in, outsourcing your monitoring services to a dedicated NOC partner is a practical investment. Having a dedicated team of engineers with specialized monitoring expertise means that you’re always going to have a set of eyes watching over your IT infrastructure. Give your IT department more time to concentrate on the priorities of growing your business without the time-consuming tasks of managing the monitoring platform, chasing false-positive alerts and troubleshooting network impairments. Make the most of your budget and enhance the performance of your IT staff while saving money, time, and trouble in the long run.