Seven Arguments Against DIY Server & Network Monitoring

Midmarket companies should consider a remote monitoring service for their networks and servers, especially in a down economy.  Viewed holistically, remote monitoring not only serves as an insurance policy for business operations but also creates real business value.  Unfortunately, the incremental spend often causes businesses to overlook the tangible returns on investment, or doing it yourself seems like the cheaper option.

Here are the seven most frequently overlooked areas of business value versus doing it yourself or not at all:Numero-7

1. No additional software and hardware expense…plus avoid hidden costs – A managed remote monitoring service requires no additional software and hardware but delivers the same value.  Often lost in the buy vs. outsource equation are the hidden costs of server and software selection, training, configuration, maintenance, physical and storage space, and power.  These soft costs add up and do not disappear over time. You may not need additional hardware now, but you will now need hardware sooner! If budgets are tight, the upfront cash or financing required might make the investment impossible altogether.

2. Prevent costly downtime – Your business productivity matters now more than ever.  You cannot afford to be disconnected from customers and suppliers, to have your billing process interrupted, or to be flying blind about your business operation.  Many remote monitoring service providers provide not only alerting of critical errors, but also valuable reports, analysis and recommendations that can help your business reduce downtime by preventing problems before they happen.

3.  Less on-call time – Implementing an internal monitoring solution does not guarantee service levels.  Service levels require technical staff to be on-call after hours, on weekends, and during holidays.  Today, many companies are asking more from their staffs and requiring more work hours and greater flexibility.  Using a remote monitoring provider means your employees can sleep easy unless the problem is truly critical.  This improves both employee morale and retention.

4. Avoid configuration errors – Many businesses miss critical alerts when the in-house monitoring package is misconfigured, meaning that alert thresholds are set too low or disabled.  Often, this is overcompensation for an initial configuration that was too sensitive and generated too many alerts.  Managed service providers have experience configuring monitoring and alerting thresholds and escalation rules that make sense for each business.

5. Reduce risk associated with doing it in-house – By using a third party service provider, you insulate yourself from risks specific to your business. Those risks include hardware failure on the monitoring server, service interruption by your Internet or power providers, and poor employee performance or worse.  Using a service provider can give you peace of mind, which otherwise would only come by having a large staff and redundant providers – luxuries few can afford right now.

6. Holiday, vacation, illness coverage – Avoid paying overtime or taxing your already lean staff with on-call coverage during holidays, vacations or when staff is out sick.  Ensure continuity when you experience staff transitions, such as resignation, terminations and/or layoffs.  Network monitoring service providers provide coverage 24/7/365.

7. Proactive business planning –  Wouldn’t you like to know about future technology needs, such as when to purchase new hardware, memory, disk space or  virtualization software such as VMWare?  Third-party server and network monitoring providers can supply you with information and analysis to better prioritize and plan your cash flows.

Remote monitoring services are both affordable and prudent.  During this challenging business cycle, every hour of productivity is critical. Midmarket businesses should consider remote server and network monitoring as a service they can’t afford to be without.

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