Most modern businesses rely heavily on information technology to get things done. Especially in 2020, where Covid-19 has supercharged our dependence on virtual interactions, IT monitoring is an essential tool to help your company and its people stay focused and on track towards achieving your business objectives. Instead of problems that stop your employees from getting their work done, you’ll have a robust solution that ensures that the systems you rely on are functioning at peak performance, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.
In short, IT monitoring takes the burden off your overworked or part-time IT person, and it frees your employees from the delay between a reported problem and a fix that could come through tomorrow or a week from today. When every day and hour counts, the “we’ll-get-to-it-eventually” approach is just not good enough in 2020.
But if you opt for an outsourced IT solution that doesn’t include comprehensive IT monitoring, you could be in for a world of hurt. Never mind those times when you call and nobody answers, the normal response of most outsourced IT solutions is measured in days, not hours, and you and your employees rely on 24/7 uptime to interact and do the good work that you do, especially when in today’s economy your employees and contractors can be stationed just about anywhere.
Ranging from basic checks to advanced tools that can evaluate performance and even automate repairs, IT monitoring is becoming an indispensable part of any business that doesn’t have the resources to spin up a large IT department of their own. Even if you have comprehensive IT capabilities in house, IT monitoring can add an extra layer of insight and capability, allowing your existing team to get more done with less.
Used on a web server, IT monitoring can analyze trends in resource utilization, freeing up CPU or RAM when needed, or warning you when your hard drive space is running out, as well as what led to previous crashes over the last year. With the capabilities of IT monitoring, you’ll be able to better predict when a critical asset is having problems or is about to go down, giving you ample time to fix the issue or prepare an alternative.
Today, IT monitoring is more than just network and application monitoring. It’s capable of monitoring both local and cloud-based systems, and there’s also quite a bit of crossover between IT monitoring and IT operations management (ITOM), security information and event management (SIEM), security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) and operational intelligence (OI), among others.
The basic types of IT monitoring include availability monitoring, web performance monitoring, web application management and application performance management, API management, real user monitoring, security monitoring and business activity monitoring.
Availability monitoring, also known as system monitoring, is what most people think of when they picture IT monitoring services. It’s responsible for looking after your servers, infrastructure and network, providing you with uptime figures and insight into any unplanned downtime.
Web performance monitoring is a subset of availability monitoring, but it’s focused primarily on a specific web server or service. There’s more detail available with web performance monitoring, and analytics tools can tell you everything from element and page load speeds to any errors that may appear, helping guide development and tuning.
Application management is similar to web performance monitoring, but instead tracks customer-facing applications, not internal company systems. This allows the service to better understand users, their behavior, as well as any issues that pop up.
If you offer an API and work with third-party developers, API monitoring allows you to stay on top of your API’s availability without dragging valuable company resources in, reducing downtime and giving your developers the bandwidth to work on other projects.
Real user monitoring, security monitoring and business activity monitoring round out the offering, which allows you to track real-world behavior, security issues and key business performance metrics over time.