Networking is the process of connecting network nodes to create a network. The network can be either physical, meaning cables and routers, or logical, meaning wireless connections. Networking has become the most important task within IT because it’s necessary for many businesses regardless of size or industry. With networking becoming increasingly complicated with new technologies like cloud computing and mobility – network management becomes essential to keeping your company running smoothly! Simple activities, such as email usage, computer connections, security measures, Internet access, and so on. As a result, organizations must focus on managing their data center networks in order to remain competitive. This blog is meant to assist you in understanding the services and activities that make up network management, as well as how they may be used in the business setting.
Why should you be concerned about network management?
Network management concerns may result in financial damage to businesses that have any sort of online presence, interact with customers, or manage business partners over the Internet. As a result, the significance of network management in today’s digital business environment is immeasurable.
Downtime is costly
A network outage, on average, costs a business $5,600 per minute. Not only may you miss out on new sales, but you could also lose current customers who are unable to contact you. Downtime also raises operational expenditures, as internal business disruptions are caused by it. Employees are less productive since they are unable to communicate with a colleague or send an email. This is problematic for enterprises with employees working in numerous locations. IT teams may use network management monitoring and software to detect possible issues and minimize the effects of outages.
An unsecured network is a network that lacks management.
Cyber attacks and data breaches are almost ordinary in today’s networked environment. Unsecured networks, like downtime, may also have a high cost. The typical cost of a data breach for U.S. firms is $8.2 million. While there is no single cause for cyberattacks, unsecured networks do take some of the blame, with insider threats (intentional and unintentional) accounting for 60% of assaults. Network management may have a significant impact in preventing these issues. For example, obtaining knowledge of who is accessing networks might be a step toward preventing malware and spyware from being installed on employee computers.
Network management is made up of a number of different components
Operations: Taking a high-level look at how an organization’s network should operate and ensuring that it operates effectively. Systematic monitoring is used in network operations. They find and fix problems as they appear, ideally before anyone at the company does so.
Administration: This is the monitoring of network resources’ hardware (e.g., routers, switches, and servers), as well as the software needed to operate them. This type of task frequently entails keeping up with vendor updates and updating company technology as needed.
Security: Managing numerous physical and virtual firewalls from one location is a typical IT challenge. Network behavior monitoring and suspicious activity investigation are also responsibilities of administrators. This position also includes monitoring the network to ensure that it meets privacy, industry, and security standards.
Maintenance: Repairing or replacing faulty or out-of-date networking equipment.
Provisioning: Configuring network resources to provide access for different categories of users, such as internal workers and external partners and clients.
Performance management: Using strategies to keep the network operating at peak efficiency. It entails keeping track of each network device and determining which ones are creating a delay or bottleneck.
Network management at your organization
A company manages network management in one of three ways: handling it entirely internally, outsourcing to an external service, or using a mix of the two. We’ll look at all three alternatives in more depth below.
If you want to keep network administration completely in-house, you’ll need a network administrator or team of network administrators who will handle all network-related operations. Having an employee on staff that is familiar with the company is one of the major benefits of having a full-time internal network administrator. When management is thinking about updating network models or wants advice when purchasing or upgrading technology, this knowledge center can help.
However, even in a small firm, network administration is a tough task to perform alone. As previously said, preventing and resolving network problems are critical aspects of network management, and issues do not always occur during business hours. To ensure that the network is operating productively at all times, network administrators must be on call or work overtime.
The median salary of a network administrator, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is $82,050. Many startups and small organizations may not be able to manage to hire several administrators at this rate. Other expenses include continuing education for staff to keep up with certifications.
Many businesses, on the other hand, choose to focus solely on their core business and hire outside consultants or freelancers to handle IT functions such as network administration. There are several obvious benefits to this, such as a decreased cost and (often) guaranteed 24/7 emergency service. In addition, IT outsourcing firms generally have a staff of experts with current certifications and up-to-date technological skills.
However, there are drawbacks to completely outsourcing network management functions, one being the lack of trust. Will the consultant uphold the uptime and performance warranties? It will take 5 hours to fix a network outage. In the case of an emergency, companies should ideally have answers to the following issues before they encounter one.
An outsourcer’s lack of understanding of the company, especially if they have a large and diverse client base, is another issue. They may want to implement a one-size-fits-all network management strategy without taking into account a company’s long-term objectives. Many businesses want to focus on consultants with a core client base of firms that are comparable in size and industry to theirs when choosing an outsourcer.
Many small businesses discover that their network management demands fall somewhere between completely in-house and completely outsourcing. To establish a successful hybrid approach, an internal IT Service Support Specialist should offer coaching and essential business information to the external provider. Internal IT workers can dedicate the majority of their time to core business activities, with infrequent requests for assistance in network management.