IT Risk #3 – Lack of Monitoring of IT Resources

IT Risk #3 – Lack of Monitoring of IT Resources 150 150 Shandam Consulting

If you have kids, their school probably has some sort of web portal that lets you track their educational progress:  current grades, homework status, attendance, etc.  Every parent learns that having a dashboard lets them identify problems early and address them before they turn into poor grades.

Running a IT organization without a similar dashboard is really nothing more than blindly hoping that nothing will go wrong, and then reacting when it does. We wish to point out that while Hope is a noble thing, it is not a proven business strategy.

Monitoring systems can be freely download from the internet or purchased from specialty vendors. There is no single ideal tool, and the actual tool you use to monitor is less important than the guiding principles behind it, which should address the following questions:

  • Is everything that affects IT availability monitored?  Not just the usual IT culprits such as switches, routers, servers, but also cooling system, power backup, etc. We see a lot of IT failures caused by “non-IT” infrastructure such as power or cooling failures. Your organization’s IT infrastructure is only as robust as its weakest link, so every link in that chain must be monitored to maximize uptime.
  • What happens when a problem is detected?  Is more than one person notified? Is the notification method dependent upon the IT system being monitored? What about after hours?
  • Is the monitoring system using the same infrastructure as what is being monitored? If so, how will it let anyone know there is a problem if the systems it depends on has failed?
  • Are thresholds and dependencies set to prevent trivial alerts from overwhelming IT responders?

IT Monitoring should be pervasive, comprehensive and the first place anyone in IT looks when a problem is reported.

Shandam has designed and implemented dozens of IT monitoring systems, large and small, for our clients. Our deep experience in supporting IT infrastructures gives us the real-world platform agnostic experience to know how to customize a monitoring system to fit the needs of your organization, and empower your IT staff.