IT departments today live in an era when customers expect to self-serve; they expect transparency; they have high expectations; and they want a positive customer experience with little or no friction.
The so-called digital transformation of businesses delivers much of what customers, employees and other stakeholders expect, and network monitoring may be one of the best and oldest examples of using digital methods to solve real-world problems.
In simple terms, network monitoring gives IT departments the tools they need to minimize, if not prevent, downtime that would negatively affect users. With the increasing complexity of networks today, most every business would benefit from continuously monitoring their networks, including these four industry segments for which continuous performance monitoring is a “must-do.”
Four Industries that Benefit from Continuous Performance Monitoring
Banking and Financial
Banks and financial services companies have been undergoing change for the last several years, and that change shows no signs of slowing. Studies from Accenture, PWC, and other firms show that companies using digital assets and offering customers digital tools have captured disproportionate shares of revenue and have upset the banking and financial services landscape around the world.
You can find examples of their digital transformation everywhere. Consumers and business people alike are now accustomed to banking online with account balances, remote deposits, and reporting only a click or swipe away. The networks that once carried only the traffic generated at teller windows have had to grow to accommodate literally millions of online customers. Transactions recorded on paper have been replaced with digital records. Banking and financial networks have been re-engineered many times to provide the 24×7 security and responsiveness customers, employees, and others have come to expect.
There’s no question that banking networks need to be monitored around the clock to prevent downtime and performance issues that would inconvenience customers and could lead to conflict with regulatory rules and statutes that govern banking.
HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) revolutionized IT departments in healthcare organizations when it was signed into law in 1996, and today’s digital transformation in healthcare is arguably having even greater impact. With modern hospitals and medical offices already highly digitized, the coming together of AI-enabled medical devices, telemedicine, value-based healthcare, blockchain medical records, wearable medical devices, and other innovations are placing new requirements on healthcare organizations and their IT networks.
As these leading-edge services and devices become more commonplace, the need for a network that runs at 100 percent uptime becomes more critical than ever. Traditional patient data, medical and imaging devices, information systems, and central communication servers, as well as traditional IT infrastructure like switches, servers, databases, and storage systems, all need to be monitored.
Yet there’s more. For instance, adding wearable medical devices that monitor patients in real-time—and perhaps having thousands of such patients connected to the network simultaneously—illustrates the urgent and crucial need for round-the-clock performance monitoring.
Cable and Broadband
Cable TV and broadband internet services are each distributed to millions of homes and businesses via complex networks of integrated fiber, coaxial, and copper infrastructure. Networks are continually evolving as the industry implements new standards and operates under multiple, disparate platforms and technologies.
The rise of cable Multiple System Operators (MSOs) brings more than TV entertainment. MSOs are offering an array of communication services to businesses that include fiber optic-based services such as dedicated Internet access (DIA), metro ethernet, and hosted voice over IP.
These added services increase the complexity of the networks that need to be monitored. Not only do set-top boxes and access points need to be monitored, so does the accompanying infrastructure that can span a city, a state or a nation.
The cost of signing one new subscriber to a cable or broadband service can exceed $2,000 (based on 2015 figures), so operators work hard to retain their customers and the profits that ensue. However, customers are quick to switch companies if outages become frequent or aren’t resolved quickly. This volatility and potential loss of revenue makes 24×7 performance monitoring essential in the cable and broadband market.
E-Commerce and Retail
In the e-commerce and retail marketplace, the need for continuous monitoring is driven by the concern of losing revenue and even customers. Customers today expect (and demand) speed, efficiency, positive experience, and nearly zero friction in dealing with the company. When websites or servers become overloaded or fail, customers will immediately go to a competitor to complete a transaction.
In brick and mortar businesses, when internet connectivity fails, you’ll be unable to offer the convenience of WiFi to your customers and you’ll no longer be able to process credit cards. If your business has multiple retail outlets, the problem can grow to cripple several locations at once. The need for continuous performance monitoring of your network, your e-commerce apps, and your servers is critical if you want to avoid losing revenue and customers.
None of the four markets outlined here can operate reliably unless they are monitoring their networks on a continuous basis. In each case, the risk of not monitoring equates to lost revenue, profits, and customers. Not to mention, in the case of healthcare, the risk is that of endangering human life itself.
iGLASS gives you a “single pane of glass” through which you can monitor your network no matter how complex or distributed it might be. Contact us to learn how we can deliver professional 24×7 performance monitoring so your IT team can get some sleep and your network won’t keep you up at night.