IT innovation can drive new revenue streams, provide flexibility and agility in a fast-paced competitive environment, and boost employee collaboration and productivity. However, for many businesses, maintaining – and growing – IT infrastructure can become a drain on resources, and in some case, a disaster waiting to happen. Downtime can impact revenue, reputation, customer experience, and ultimately put your business at risk.
So it is perhaps surprising that so few company owners have an accurate picture of how their IT infrastructure is performing. The only time they might become aware of it, is often when there is a problem – by which time it could be too late.
Network and infrastructure monitoring is therefore essential for optimising performance of your IT network, and detecting and avoiding IT events that could impact the business even before they occur. Done properly, it offers end-to-end visibility across the entire network, providing insight into potential faults, performance levels, capacity limits, latencies, security, and so on.
Investing in new technologies is always a risk for a business, so the ability to use network monitoring to manage and analyse new technologies in order to assess performance and detect faults is vital to protecting that investment and, ultimately, revenues. Being able to rapidly and successfully deploy new technologies and services could mean the difference between success and failure.
Monitoring can help to optimise network capacity by highlighting latencies, managing bandwidth for business-critical applications, and detecting bottlenecks and poor performance. In turn, this can boost productivity and performance.
It can also help to mitigate risk and ensure that performance metrics and SLAs are being met. Without the ability to continuously monitor your IT infrastructure any breach of SLAs, or poor customer experience, could have serious repercussions for the business, including financial penalties and loss of customer trust.
Conversely, being able to show that you can deliver new and unique services to customers by providing PKIs that show consistently excellent performance levels can enhance customer acquisition and retention.
Preventing business disruption is another essential benefit of network and infrastructure monitoring. Downtime impacts employee productivity, revenue, customer experience and loyalty, and organisational reputation. By proactively assessing and trouble-shooting the network on a continuous basis, organisations can avoid potential faults and problems before they become a threat to the business.
Finally, network monitoring can help to shape your entire IT strategy, by helping you to benchmark performance, and better understand the future IT requirements of your business.
If you want to find out how Aztech IT can help you to better monitor and assess your IT network and infrastructure performance, please visit us at www.aztechit.co.uk, or contact us, for further information.
Microsoft Azure is an open, secure and flexible cloud platform that allows businesses of any size to quickly build, deploy and manage solutions, which are then hosted on Microsoft’s global network of datacenters.
Azure is a growing collection of integrated cloud services – analytics, computing, database, disaster recovery, mobile, networking, storage and web – that offers integrated tools, pre-built templates and managed services to make it easier for developers and IT professionals to build and manage enterprise, mobile, web and Internet of Things (IoT) apps faster, using the skills they already have.
But the real benefit is gained by the business. By reducing infrastructure costs, IT resources, and by providing scalability, Azure offers SMEs the flexibility, agility, and enterprise-grade IT capabilities that would normally be out of their reach.
Using Azure as a cloud-based solution, can save capital expenditure and operational expenditure by removing the need for infrastructure investments, a significant benefit for SMEs with limited budget. It can also reduce space, power and electricity costs for maintaining racks of servers.
Furthermore, resources can be turned up or down almost immediately, so that not only can Azure grow with your business, it can also be upscaled and downscaled to meet peaks and troughs in demand on the fly.
A hosted Azure solution can also help to reduce the cost of hiring highly skilled, but expensive, IT professionals, as it can automate many of the basic processes required to build a software solution or app. In turn, mundane tasks such as storage backup, updating server firmware, maintaining OS and security patches are also removed, again reducing the human resources required for IT. At the same time, it can free up existing IT professionals to concentrate on creating solutions to help grow the company and meet strategic business goals.
Microsoft Azure can also bring a ‘stamp of credibility’ to many SMEs, who are often competing against much larger enterprises for business. Microsoft is a global brand, and has over 15 years’ experience of running extensive cloud-based networks.
Other benefits include 99.95 per cent monthly SLA guarantees so you’re your business can relax in the knowledge that your applications and services will be constantly available. In the event of an unexpected event, Azure also offers an affordable option for SMEs to implement business continuity and disaster recovery plans, which they probably could not otherwise afford.
Azure can also boost mobile productivity and collaboration through its Azure RemoteApp Service, which securely makes business applications available to remote employees, partners and customers.
What are you waiting for? If you would like to find out more about how Aztech IT can help your business make the most of Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365, and other managed services, please visit us at www.aztechit.co.uk.
According to weather forecasters, this Winter could be one of the coldest for 50 years with predictions for several months of snow, due to the knock-on effect of the strongest El Nino event on record.
Whether those predictions transpire remains to be seen, but every Winter the UK’s lack of preparation leads to chaos on the transport network, with the ultimate effect that UK companies lose millions of pounds in business due to time wasted commuting or employees being unable to get into the office. For forward-thinking companies, however, the hours of time wasted trying to commute into the office in bad weather could be transformed into productive time spent working from home. The obvious solution is to prepare to allow your employees to work remotely from home through unified communications, and hosted or cloud-based productivity tools, such as Office 365.
However, many organisations are still failing to provide any kind of remote working for employees. According to CBI data, for example, 41 per cent of UK companies are yet to implement any kind of remote working technology, from VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to hosted or cloud applications. The only requirement for employees stuck at home is an internet connection allowing access to remote working tools.
Office 365 as a cloud or hosted solution, for example, allows employees to collaborate, communicate, and share corporate data as if they were in the office. Likewise, UC tools, such as Skype for Business, enable audio and video conferences, meaning that no-one has to miss a meeting even if they are stuck at home due to bad weather.
Of course, many companies consider security to be a major threat to allowing remote access to corporate data. However, most hosted and cloud-based productivity solutions come with built-in security features that are often stronger than on-premise security protocols. Furthermore, contracts with hosted and cloud solution providers should be sealed by a tight set of SLAs and performance indicators, meaning that corporate apps and data are always available to home-working employees, regardless of the weather. Allowing remote working is not just about bad weather, of course, with multiple studies showing that employees are often more productive from home, are more satisfied with their work-life balance, and less likely to move to a competitor that does offer flexible working.
So why not visit www.aztechit.co.uk and find out how our collaboration and productivity services and solutions can not only help you to keep your company keep running productively and efficiently throughout Winter, but also throughout the rest of the year.