tangle of cables and ports for in-house network

In-House Network Management – Cruel and Unusual Punishment?

Do you know how to pick a network administrator out in a crowd? Sure, the pocket protector is a dead giveaway, but what about that sallow complexion, the dark circles behind those light-sensitive lenses, the various bits of cabling bulging out of the pockets?

All kidding aside, it is a fact that 80 percent of a company’s IT spending is devoted to keeping existing in-house systems up and running. And here’s the IT admin, reading about cool new technologies, itching to innovate…but who has the time? This is one of many reasons small and medium businesses are outsourcing many basic IT functions: So they can concentrate on those core technologies that give them a competitive edge in their industry.

In-House Challenges

Networking is a perfect example of a basic IT function that can eat up in-house IT resources. Managing many different devices from a variety of vendors, along with all the updates, patching, compliance requirements, and issues that arise from human error or environmental factors can prevent a company from making progress with new technologies that may increase productivity. Consider these network management challenges:

  • Configuration Tasks: Conventional network administration involves many time-consuming and repetitive configurations. This takes time away from planning for future innovations that increase productivity.
  • Network Growth: As a company expands, so does the number of devices and applications, increasing the risk of errors and network outages.
  • Network Security: Manual patching, firewall creation, intrusion detection monitoring, and other security measures can result in increased errors and risk for data breaches.
  • No Centralized Management: Configuration changes, updates, and other mission critical steps which are required to meet compliance regulations are often performed piecemeal, without any centralized control, thus increasing management complexity.
  • Lack of Accountability: It can be difficult to trace a security breach or unauthorized configuration change in a manually managed environment.

According to The SMB Group, approximately 87 percent of SMBs are using Managed Services and the cloud to support at least part of their IT infrastructure. Network-as-a-service (NaaS), a business model for delivering network services virtually over the Internet on a pay-per-use or monthly subscription basis, is becoming a popular alternative to in-house network management.

To paraphrase TechTarget’s apt definition: “From the customer’s point of view, the only thing required is one computer, an Internet connection, and access to the provider’s NaaS portal. In essence, the network becomes a utility, paid for just like electricity or water or heat. Because the network is virtual, all its complexities are hidden from view.” Those complexities exist, however. And in order to keep your business protected, they demand focused, ongoing attention.

Infinity, Inc. is the Savannah region’s leading provider of network services. Our networking experts can help you decide if a remotely managed networking solution is right for you or if enlisting someone to manage your on-site network infrastructure would serve your business better. To get a fuller understanding about how you can improve network management and the options to consider, get in touch with the experts at Infinity.