IT infrastructure monitoring forms an integral part of Managed Service Providers' (MSPs) responsibilities, ensuring the smooth operation of client networks and IT systems and in-depth analysis of company data, as well as flagging and reacting to potential threats.
Close monitoring also ensures a business is better able to make good on its plans and remain on track to meet its targets for growth. By analyzing key metrics and helping to ensure security measures are in place and up to date, it's easier for businesses to stay ahead of the game.
As an MSP, you must be equipped with the right set of tools. Checking the health of a server network and monitoring the overall structure of a company's systems is no easy task. While it’s possible to use a range of in-house options, or those supplied by an external vendor, this is often more complex than using a specific, customized monitoring tool.
Picking the right solution involves making sure it has all the right options you need. So what features should you be looking for?
1. Onboarding made easy
No matter how good a piece of software or set of tools might be, if you can’t get it working in a timely fashion then it's not an ideal option. The right choice should be easy to install, work seamlessly with your existing IT infrastructure and be able to be set up in a short timeframe.
There’s also the matter of ensuring teams can use it. Having to spend days training staff on a new system takes them away from their core assignments and the more complex a system, the more room for mistakes or failing to ensure staff buy-in.
A system that’s ready-made and installed quickly is the best choice, as long as simple doesn’t equal reduced features. A good provider will be able to supply a comprehensive suite that works well within your existing IT setup and provides the key features needed for success.
2. Sensible pricing
The best option when it comes to infrastructure monitoring isn’t always the most expensive one. After all, the cost of these tools will likely be passed on to customers and, if these costs can't be kept down, then offering a competitive price to users becomes more difficult. Flexible pricing and scalable usage are therefore positive features to have.
Price models based on usage have become increasingly popular in recent years and it's a great thing to be able to offer your clients, which means it's a good thing to look for in IT monitoring tools being purchased. After all, you can’t pass on a great deal if you’re not getting one yourself.
3. Solid security
MSPs must ensure clients' networks remain secure and protected against both internal and external threats. Software that logs access and monitors unwanted traffic can therefore help to prevent costly data breaches, while real-time monitoring and automated alert systems can ensure any unwanted activity is flagged quickly in order to limit harm.
Automation forms a key part of efficient IT infrastructure monitoring, as when the number of clients increases, so too does the workload involved. Automating as many of the tasks involved in this process, such as patch management monitoring, therefore ensures scalability, while also reducing the likelihood of human error that can reduce levels of security offered by MSPs.
4. Reporting and data gathering
The ability to provide comprehensive data on the work being carried out and the threats that are prevented through effective infrastructure monitoring helps to build confidence with the MSP’s customer base and demonstrates value for money. As a result, tools that facilitate comprehensive data gathering should be viewed as a high priority.
Clear reporting and data gathering helps to improve the service offered by MSPs. In turn, this ensures the most effective analysis of pertinent and timely data to enhance business results and drive value creation for clients.
5. Access anywhere
It’s always been a bonus to be able to access a client's system remotely. However, recent years have shown the importance of remote access to IT infrastructure as more businesses have embraced the 'new normal' of remote working.
Without the option for remote monitoring, MSPs have to regularly conduct site visits and aren't able to respond in real-time to new threats or issues. As a result, IT monitoring tools that ensure full remote access to client infrastructure are now a prerequisite for effective monitoring and IT integration, as they provide benefits including reduced client downtime, remote support and the aforementioned real-time responsiveness.
In summary, effective infrastructure monitoring plays a vital role in customer data security and the ability for MSPs to enhance the growth prospects of their clients through hard data. Offering the right tools with the correct features is therefore integral to ensuring clear customer benefits through solutions that are comprehensive, affordable and easy to implement.
Access the latest business knowledge in IT
Join the conversation...