Systems monitoring isn’t complete when a system is built

By - March 25, 2016

Providing a managed service monitoring system is not as simple as setting up a good checking policy to meet a client’s needs. There’s constant work and effort needed to maintain the system both from the service provider and from the customer side.

Often times, the ongoing maintenance is overlooked by both the provider and the customer. Systems are setup and configured in a generic state without enough discovery and configuration effort put in on the front end of the setup to create a useful monitoring solution.  There are many factors that should always be considered when implementing a monitoring system.  For example, both the service provider and the customer have to account for and agree upon the solution, as well as commit to the effort needed to implement a valued system.

What are the factors for the service provider to account for? There are 3 major ones that come to mind.

  • Discovery
  • Viable Solution
  • Value

Discovery and communication at the very beginning of a project are key to ensuring that the consultant is clear on the client’s expectations. Discovery can often times be lumped into a one size fits all view. If you create a one size discovery solution, inevitably data will be missed that is crucial to a properly running monitoring system.  Thorough discovery and communication at the front end of the project will allow the consultant to understand the full needs of the client and be able to provide what the client specifically needs versus a one size fits all solution. This is key to successful implementation of a viable solution for the client.

A viable solution is a matter of perspective. What a provider may feel is viable to a client, can differ from what a client thinks is viable for their business. A provider should be ready to implement a solution which meets the needs of the client.  It will be more costly to have a customized monitoring solution and there is a lot of up front work when customized, but the outcome will be a much more smoothly run system, where the client satisfaction will be higher and most importantly, it will help stabilize their environment.  A consultant must take the time to understand the systems and what monitoring schedules will be most effective.  There will be a high level of effort in the beginning and during a fine-tune stage, but this will lead to a more effective monitoring system, which will reduce the time needed from both the client and the provider and should result in less spending over time for the client.

Profit equates to value, but there is non-monetary value as well. For example, there is the value to the IT department.  With a more organized and customized monitoring solution, the IT staff will be better equipped to support and maintain the systems, as well as meet their SLA (service level agreement) requirements.  This is where value is truly seen in the IT world.  It’s nice to have a low cost solution and show value in terms of money, but having a happy IT department who see the value in their monitoring system once fine-tuned, will keep the client relationship in a happy state, which in turn will keep the client paying for their service versus looking for it to be replaced.

In review, many times a customized monitoring system works much better than a standard monitoring system, because it takes into account all of the client’s needs. While this approach is more costly to implement for a client in the beginning, the results will be much more positive for the client, provider and the client’s IT department.

If you are interested in managed services systems monitoring, contact us.

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