IT monitoring in tandem with third party maintenance for heightened transparency and security

The availability and longevity of data center systems ranks among the major challenges facing today’s IT departments, with infrastructures growing more complex and varied and the corresponding monitoring responsibilities thus becoming more necessary and simultaneously more difficult to fulfill. In light of this, systematic monitoring is designed to improve infrastructure availability and enable proactive maintenance, as it allows for the early enactment of effective countermeasures following the identification of potential disruptions at an advanced stage. It also establishes a customized mix of monitoring and third‑party maintenance that serves to quickly identify and resolve disruptions at any time of day in order to prevent disruptions and outages of workflow, production, and logistics processes.

Many IT departments dedicate significant human resources to IT monitoring, which frequently involves employees spending several hours each day tracking the performance data of servers and services. In spite of the considerable effort expended, manual monitoring is nonetheless prone to oversights particularly due to the length of time often needed to discover malfunctions occurring outside of the control timeframe. Companies are therefore tasked with determining whether the introduction of a monitoring tool is warranted and whether the in‑house operation of a monitoring system constitutes a viable option. More specifically, this decision boils down to ascertaining whether sufficient manpower is available and whether the employees possess the required knowledge for each system in the varied landscape. If neither are the case, enlisting the support of a multivendor service provider represents an advisable course of action. The numerous benefits of doing so include round‑the‑clock monitoring as well as quick localization and prevention of outages thanks to a continuous real‑time measurement of components via the utilization of a monitoring tool. Additionally, a TPM tool has sufficient capacity to monitor a virtually unlimited number of servers, services, and locations and to display practically the entire range of vendors and system environments by way of centralized dashboards. This constitutes a major advantage over the tools offered by the competition, which are typically capable merely of monitoring the systems of specific vendors.

Although identifying a malfunction is certainly an achievement in itself, an ideal holistic approach should aim to immediately resolve the malfunction or prevent it from arising at all. It is therefore advisable in many cases to outsource the monitoring and maintenance responsibilities to a third-party maintenance provider (TPM) in order to minimize the time lost between the initial report and the malfunction’s eventual resolution. TPMs continuously monitor the entire critical system landscape and display on the company’s and on the service provider’s dashboards any and all real‑time data pointing to an impending or already‑occurring malfunction. The occurrence of a malfunction triggers the automatic opening of a ticket with the support function, after which the service provider immediately takes on responsibility for resolving the situation at hand. A multivendor provider’s ability to service equipment from any vendor eliminates the company’s need to review individual maintenance contracts and to identify the correct contact partner, and also serves to avert a potential time‑consuming bout of senseless finger‑pointing. With a TPM contract in place, the IT department is afforded the convenience of relying on a single contract and contact partner that guarantees a quick resolution to any disruption in line with the established service level agreements.

The outsourcing of monitoring and maintenance responsibilities also allows companies to free up valuable capacities in their IT departments and to rededicate these resources to tackling challenges in connection with digitalization and the emergence of innovative technologies such as IoT and AI. Additionally, a seamless and uninterrupted monitoring of the IT environment is of considerable importance in responding to cyberattacks. Although they cannot always be prevented, the enlistment of third‑party maintenance enables companies to quickly identify and repel cyberattacks, thus minimizing the adverse impact to the greatest extent possible.

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