Proactive Monitoring: What Is It and Why Does Your Company Need It?

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Written By Lilly Miller

Many businesses simply don’t monitor their systems. They can’t justify the cost of monitoring, so they don’t bother.

But, businesses that don’t monitor their infrastructure are wasting their time and money. A business without monitoring would be more susceptible to downtime, security breaches, and other operational issues.

A proactive approach to monitoring your infrastructure can uncover problems that you might have otherwise overlooked. The proactive nature of better systems management allows you to reduce downtime and maintenance costs, as well as improve operational efficiency.

What is proactive monitoring?

What is proactive monitoring?Proactive monitoring is a continuous process of checking network devices, servers, and other network components.

This is done to ensure that everything is working as planned. If an issue is detected, proactive monitoring also identifies the cause of the issue and automatically begins troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue. 

This approach to monitoring differs from reactive monitoring. Reactive monitoring occurs when you are forced to react to an issue or problem after it has already occurred. Instead, proactive monitoring is a proactive approach to monitoring your network. 

How to implement proactive monitoring solutions

Proactive monitoring is about going beyond monitoring metrics and managing thresholds to actively manage IT resources.

Proactive monitoring is all about finding and fixing problems before users or customers notice them, or before they become full-blown incidents. As the number of applications, servers, and other IT resources continues to grow, creating an effective proactive monitoring solution is becoming increasingly challenging.

Here are five best practices that can help you develop an effective proactive monitoring solution:

1. Start with the end in mind

One of the biggest mistakes companies make when integrating a proactive monitoring solution into their IT environment is to approach it as an IT project. Proactive monitoring should be approached as an ongoing business process that requires consistent work across the entire company.

It is critical to understand how proactive monitoring solutions will help improve business results — for example, by reducing downtime, improving service levels, lowering costs, and enabling IT to focus more on strategic initiatives.

The key to a successful proactive monitoring initiative is to define clear and measurable business outcomes that will ensure that proactive monitoring efforts are aligned with business goals and strategies.

2. Address the needs of all affected stakeholders

Address the needs of all affected stakeholdersIts goals and challenges are not always the same as other stakeholders in the organization. Thus, it is important to identify risks and priorities from the perspective of all affected stakeholders — including end-users, customers, management, and other groups.

To do so, it is helpful to identify business outcomes and metrics important to each stakeholder and establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor those metrics.

3. Avoid false alarms

It is easy to get overwhelmed by false alarms — those alerts that turn out to be false. But minimizing false alerts is important in the development and deployment of an effective proactive monitoring solution.

To limit false alerts, it is important to configure each proactive monitoring feature and capability according to your organization’s priorities. For example, if the highest priority is to prevent IT outages, it might make sense to prioritize network monitoring capabilities over process monitoring capabilities.

4. Use the right tools for the job

Proactive monitoring solutions utilize a wide variety of tools and capabilities, including analytics, artificial intelligence, business application monitoring, network monitoring, and performance monitoring.

To be able to use the right tools with minimal overlap and redundancy, it is important to identify the right metrics and set up the right infrastructure for monitoring.

Using tools that can do multiple jobs at once is always a plus. For example, email archiving solutions can help you not only keep your archived data in a safe email archive but also analyze your archived data and get valuable insights you can use across all departments.

This kind of proactive monitoring allows you to prevent employee misconduct and detect problems before they escalate.

5. Avoid silos

Many IT professionals have heard the expression “siloed mentality,” which refers to organizations that view the world as a series of “silos”: each department or function working independently in its own area of the business.

Siloed organizations often miss out on the potential benefits that come from sharing information and resources, as well as from having employees with different skill sets collaborate on shared goals.

The same risks apply to organizations that attempt to implement proactive monitoring by separating it from the rest of their IT infrastructure.

Why do you need a proactive monitoring solution?

Why do you need proactive monitoring?There are five main benefits of proactive monitoring:

1. Cost Savings — Proactive monitoring helps identify and resolve problems before they occur, which saves your company money. Without proactive monitoring, your company is forced to react to issues as they occur, which requires you to pay technicians to fix the problem. 

2. Increased Productivity — Proactive monitoring allows your company to work efficiently. Reactive monitoring requires you to wait for a technician to arrive and resolve an issue.

A technician’s time is valuable, and without proactive monitoring, you or your employees can’t work until the technician arrives. 

3. Security — Proactive monitoring helps to prevent downtime, which saves your company data, time, and money. By implementing a proactive monitoring approach, you can identify potential security issues and resolve them before they become a problem.

4. Peace of Mind — Proactive monitoring allows you to work without worry. It helps resolve issues before you even know that there was a problem and gives you peace of mind knowing that your company’s network and data are protected 24/7.

5. Consistency — Proactive monitoring ensures that your network and devices are working as expected at all times. It helps to resolve issues quickly and ensures that your network performs optimally at all times.

Conclusion

Proactive monitoring is an increasingly important discipline in today’s data-driven, technology-dependent world. It can help your company increase revenue, reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction, and improve employee productivity.

To make proactive monitoring successful, it is critical to define clear and measurable outcomes, identify the right metrics for monitoring, avoid silos, use the right tools for the job, and avoid false alarms.

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