Managing your network is an important part of operating any business. Whether your teams are working in the office, remotely, or you’re taking on a hybrid work environment, make sure that all devices are connecting to your network effectively and that your humans have access to all the documents and resources that they need to work efficiently is all part and parcel of doing business in a modern world.
But whenever part of your network has a hiccup – a router breaking down, the traffic becoming congested, or unauthorised devices attempting to login – work grinds to a halt. This is what makes network monitoring a critical aspect of any network management.
What Is Network Monitoring?
Network monitoring is all about making sure that all of your network hardware is working as well as it possibly can. This includes routers, splitters, switches, firewalls, servers, and virtual machines. It’s also about monitoring the devices and traffic on your network to ensure that it’s optimised and that there aren’t any bottlenecks.
What’s most important about network monitoring, is that it should be proactive. Waiting until a router breaks down or a traffic routing problem occurs is only going to cause problems for your business operations. This is why any good network monitoring tool will allow you to set up alerts that highlight anomalies or spikes in performance, and help you with network resource management. This way you’ll be able to address any issues before they lead to network failures or downtime.
Why Should Businesses Invest In Network Monitoring?
Now that you understand a little more about what network monitoring is, you may be wondering whether this is something that your business really needs. After all, you may be a small business of under ten people – do you really need to be spending money on setting up and maintaining a network for your small team? Or, if your humans are working from home, then how necessary is it to ensure that there’s a network for them to connect to?
Here are just 4 of the benefits that network monitoring helps businesses to take advantage of.
When your teams have access to the resources tat they need, no matter where they may be in the world, they are going to be able to work more efficiently and effectively and, at the end of the day, get far more done. By providing your teams with a network connection, they’ll be able to securely access business resources. And by monitoring your network, you can ensure that these resources will be available to them as smoothly as possible, without them ever getting errors or using up too much traffic on a single server.
- Business Continuity
Keeping your business up and running at all times is critical, not just to your operations, but to your reputation as well. It shouldn’t matter to your customers where your teams are working from. If they contact you for information on their account, for example, whoever picks up the phone needs to have the right access. Any downtime or delays will instantly have a negative impact on your customer experience, and if your clients learn that you’ve had a network outage or data disaster, it can have a lasting impact on the trust that they place in your business.
Through close network monitoring, you should be able to avoid your network crashing for an extended period of time, because those alerts that we mentioned earlier will let you know about small problems before they become catastrophes.
- Identify Risks Faster
Monitoring your network will give you a good idea of what normal network traffic looks like. This can prepare you for identifying unexpected or unauthorised traffic and help you to curb attempted attacks in their tracks. If a device that’s connected to your network, for example, starts using more resources than usual or taking up more bandwidth than it should, network security monitoring will help you to either watch it more closely, preparing to stop the traffic from that particular device if necessary, or contact the employee who’s using it to find out if their account has become compromised.
- Minimise Data Loss & Ensure Compliance
No matter which industry you’re in, data is your bread and butter. It’s what tells you more about your clients, helps you to market your business to new prospects, helps you to develop your products and so, so much more. The way that your data is stored and processed has never been more important, especially with regulations like the EU’s GDPR and South Africa’s POPI Act governing the way that personal information in particular is managed.
What does network monitoring have to do with data? A problem with your network can lead to data becoming lost or corrupted, which can in and of itself have a severe impact on your business. By keeping a close eye on your network and setting up alerts to highlight errors with, for example, dropped mail sessions, you can identify errors before they have a chance to compromise your business data.
But network monitoring can also help you to stay compliant with regulations like POPIA and GDPR. With a database of information at your fingertips, you can ensure that your data is being stored and processed correctly, and easily reported on if necessary.
Is Network Monitoring Something That You Need To Handle On Your Own?
Network maintenance and monitoring can be a complex process and time-consuming. While your company may have an IT team, monitoring your networks, or even monitoring the alerts that your network monitoring tool throws up, is unlikely to be the best use of their time. And that’s if you already have an IT team at hand.
This is where an IT Company like Solid Systems steps in. On top of offering a 24/7 IT helpdesk with IT pros who are prepared to handle any issues that your teams may experience, managing and monitoring your network and infrastructure are part and parcel of the value we’re able to offer through our managed services. By taking care of the back end of your network, your business and your teams will be able to work efficiently and effectively without even needing to think twice about network traffic and hardware. You will be able to focus on your core business, without having the hassles of IT infrastructure management get in your way.
We believe in being proactive and working with you to understand your technology needs. You don’t need to understand the ins and outs of networks and infrastructure, because we do. So get in touch with us and tell us what it is that you need to work more efficiently, and we’ll find the right technologies to get you there.