Guest post courtesy of Michael Polaczy, Product Marketing Manager at TeamViewer, Bitdefender OEM & Technology Licensing Partner.
In this post, Michael provides expert advice on improving IT processes and procedures, by using secure remote monitoring.
IT admins don’t have an easy life. They are fighting a constant battle against the machines and sometimes against clueless colleagues as well. Phil needs his data restored, Lucy threatens to smash the printer into pieces and Tom is downloading a malicious file, putting the whole IT security at risk without knowing.
One thing is certain, though: admins are underappreciated lifesavers who face a Sisyphean challenge when it comes to ensuring a stable IT environment.Yet, they are usually approached angrily, leaving the impression that they are the root of all evil.They aren’t! Especially technology-affine people tend to canalize their resentment when they’re not able to fix problems themselves. And I get it! I’m among those who feel hurt in their pride the moment they realize they need help.
1. Simplifying IT Support Procedures
Most employees (me included) won’t call an admin right away, so chances are some time has already passed since that one thing went wrong. Maybe they also tried to fix it themselves, which made it even worse.
It’s a deadlock for productivity: Stuff’s broken; the admin is busy; those asking for support from the admin are halted in their work, and maybe data has been lost too.
These is a dragging, if not even antiquated process that can and should be improved. Remote IT monitoring unfolds issues and acts as an early-warning system that helps admins to keep their systems running smoothly.
2. Ensuring Proactive instead of Reactive Administration
You’d change a tire before it runs flat, wouldn’t you?
Often there are indications that something is about to fail or break. Arguably, most employees won’t be able to detect these indications just by themselves. Consequently, the admin becomes active after harm has been done, provided they have been alerted by the user.
Having a remote monitoring solution in place allows for prediction of events, e.g., disks that are about to fail usually start reporting S.M.A.R.T errors. With remote monitoring an indication like this can be picked up on easily, thus enabling admins to jump in and backup data avoiding unnecessary data loss.
A system with peak memory and CPU usage is doomed to crash sooner than later. Usage that constantly exceeds healthy thresholds signifies to admins that action is required.
Remote monitoring streamlines IT administration insofar as it’s not required to wait until something fails. The role of admins becomes proactive and stops being reactive.
3. Using Time EfficientlyCritical errors can be prevented before they occur. Even though there’s still a minor bump in work productivity, it’s far less compared to the time it takes to fix a crashed system.
Back to the tire example: think of the time it takes to regularly change a tire in the shop as opposed to waiting until it blows on the highway.
Also, combining remote monitoring and remote control brings time efficiency to a whole new level: some computer problems can be fixed by “clicking here and there”. – This saves a lot of transit time between desks and comes in especially handy in decentralized IT infrastructures.
4. Saving Costs: More Money in Your Pocket
Saving costs is always that one knockout argument when justifying new solutions. Well, the same thing applies to remote monitoring.
The automation and hence streamlining of processes increases the reaction time of admins and places their preventive actions before systems might eventually fail. By taking measures to reduce or eliminate threats and risks, one can prevent critical errors which can be costly in terms of time and money.
Furthermore, enabling admins to manage their IT infrastructure remotely reduces transit time within the office, between different buildings, locations or even countries.
That overall increase in IT management efficiency can be seen as the main driver in the reduction of costs: An increase of efficiency in administrative processes lowers the critical time required to fix and restore, simultaneously reducing the mean time to restore service (MTRS), thus raising productivity in administered departments.
If you knew your tire was about to run flat by monitoring the indications (low profile, worn, …) you’d change it at the time that suits you best, so you wouldn’t miss an important appointment or mar your travel plans.
Not to mention the money you saved by not needing road side assistance or – God forbid – the risk you would’ve possibly put you and your family at that comes with a blown tire at higher speeds.
Back to the less horrifying introductorily mentioned office scenario: with remote monitoring, Phil’s data would have never been lost in the first place, as the admin would have been able to take preventive measures like performing a backup and replacing the disk beforehand.
Tom’s mishap could’ve been prevented by monitoring whether his system is running an active anti-virus solution, alerting an admin the moment the antivirus protection becomes inactive on any device.
Lucy’s printing problem could’ve been avoided by monitoring the services necessary to realize a print job and remotely fixing it once they stopped working. When it comes to protecting devices against malware, having antimalware solutions in place is common practice.
And rightfully so! The threat of malware infections is high as ever, deeming a reliable anti-malware solution necessary. However, besides malicious software there are other factors that can put your IT infrastructure and flow of work at risk. Your car likely monitors different aspects of your car already to keep you safe. Now, consider it also for your IT infrastructure.