If your business growth has outpaced the size of your IT staff, you might be feeling the growing pains. Has your network monitoring fallen through the cracks as a result? Is your infrastructure monitoring an afterthought or a primary focus?
If you’ve noticed alerts being missed or other signs that your monitoring needs are being overlooked, it’s time to think about outsourcing your monitoring to a network operations center (NOC).
Day-to-Day Monitoring and the Risks of Neglect
When your network is running smoothly and there is nothing much to react to, complacency and neglect of your monitoring tools can set in. Maybe the latest updates and patches were never applied to your monitoring system and as a result, you are not receiving alerts.
As time goes by, other factors can contribute to your network monitoring problems; for example:
- Your network has become more complex. You may not have the resources to monitor it effectively.
- You are experiencing poor or lagging network performance, and you don’t know why.
- You continually receive annoying false alarms and may even have silenced or devised unreliable workarounds for your monitoring platform.
- The person who is best able to diagnose your troubles has left your organization, resulting in a loss of institutional knowledge in the IT shop.
- You fear (or may have even experienced) the nightmare of a network outage because something was not detected by your network monitoring system.
Now may be the time to outsource your network monitoring. All that remains is overcoming common concerns and understanding why outsourcing your NOC is the way to go.
Addressing Common Outsourcing Concerns
There are natural hesitations that come with deciding to outsource to a third-party NOC partner, including these four:
Outsourcing IT monitoring services offers many benefits compared to DIY efforts—no upfront investments, 24x7 eyes-on-glass, automatic system upgrades, and scalability to match your growth. Situations where it is cheaper and more efficient to do all that in-house are rare. Not to mention outsourcing doesn’t come with the hefty price tag that it used to, opening it up as an option for smaller companies without large budgets as well.
Throw in the added costs related to downtime, and outsourcing your monitoring to a team of NOC experts is well worth the investment. Statista.com recently published a survey which showed over 98% of the respondents reported that one hour of server downtime cost them at least $50,000. The cost of that one hour is much more than the peace of mind you get from outsourcing to a NOC partner.
Staff Reluctance and Fear
For the benefit of your IT staff, it’s important to note that outsourcing NOC places no one’s job in jeopardy. In fact it makes their job easier and protects them from the exhaustion and burnout that often accompany 24x7 monitoring responsibilities. It also frees them to focus on more productive, business-centered work.
Your NOC services partner is an extension of your team, taking on the tedious jobs that are wasting the valuable time of your staff while also improving your monitoring capabilities. That means your team can focus on higher value projects instead of responding to nuisance alerts.
Loss of Control and Visibility
If you find the right NOC partner, you won’t lose an ounce of control. You won’t need to micromanage their monitoring services day-to-day, and you can demand 100% transparency and regular communication to get updates, especially when issues arise.
Plus, your NOC partner will work with you to develop an SOP runbook. You can specify exactly who should be notified and when, so you can maintain full visibility. Find a NOC partner who offers a live Internet portal, so you can check up on your network’s status at any time, from anywhere.
Before you sign any agreements with a NOC partner, make sure you scope out their previous clients, time in business, and other indicators of their longevity and reliability. An experienced NOC services provider wouldn't still be in business if they failed to provide a secure environment for your data.
Their systems and procedures are created to safeguard your information, including keeping your data entirely separate from any other clients they have. To ease your mind, don’t be afraid to ask your potential partner about how they protect your data.
Outsourcing Beats DIY
It’s time to outsource your NOC monitoring when a provider can do it better, more reliably and cost effectively, and will work as a close partner with your business. You cannot afford to neglect network monitoring, and you don’t have to hire more IT staff or invest in additional resources and expertise to do monitoring well.