Assigning access to IT monitoring tools isn’t an exact science. Data should be available to those who use it effectively to make decisions. But who are those people – and where in your organization will you find them?
Generally speaking, those with access to IT monitoring data should know how to identify and prioritize network performance and security problems. Most importantly, they should be capable of taking action when those problems affect critical business processes. With those factors in mind, let’s explore the advantages of providing IT monitoring access to various areas of your organization.
Access for IT
IT is a natural first choice for access to network monitoring tools. Whether IT is internal or outsourced, the team will understand:
- Which aspects of the network require monitoring
- The meanings and implications of network health indicators
- How to fix problems that impact network performance
- How to interpret monitoring data to better prevent, identify, and repair network security breaches
And in an environment where consumer technology and increased virtualization have introduced new security issues, it’s tough to imagine any business unit better suited to monitoring your network. IT understands the applications and devices users exploit to access network data. It can identify the most important areas to manage and adapt monitoring tools to your organization’s unique security challenges.
With few exceptions, IT should play an active role in choosing a monitoring solution, setting it up, and analyzing the data it generates. In addition to giving IT access to monitoring tools, you should empower IT to address the problems the tools identify.
Access for Management
Some organizations should consider expanding IT monitoring access to management. The reasoning is twofold:
- Network health data gives managers insights that help them make educated business decisions.
- Management needs to adapt project timelines and other business initiatives to network performance realities.
Just as monitoring tools help IT discover problems that impact service quality, the same tools can empower managers to modify business processes in response to those problems. If, for example, a bottleneck of large file transfers is delaying server performance, IT may know how long it will take for the file transfers to complete. Management, on the other hand, will know what to do in response to the slowdown, be it modifying processes or simply notifying stakeholders of a delay. Access to monitoring tools, therefore, can help a variety of business units fulfill their missions more effectively.
Management also has a stake in the security of organizational data, and network monitoring applications that can help users identify a security breach. In situations where managers require real-time access to security-related health indicators, IT monitoring data can help make timelier, more effective decisions.
Sharing Data Benefits All
IT and management aren’t the only areas of your organization that might benefit from network monitoring data. Sharing access – even limited access – to IT monitoring tools across business units can help other areas of your organization identify problems and address them in kind.
For instance, by sharing data about security threats with partners and account holders, financial institutions can better protect accountholders from theft. Since network monitoring tools can reveal such threats, the ability of various departments to access the tools could reduce the likelihood of theft.
HR departments may have an interest in network monitoring data. If the tools point to routine insider wrong-doing or policy violations, HR will need to know who is and isn’t involved.
These are just a few examples of how sharing access to IT monitoring tools can empower business units to make positive decisions. Since internal goals will determine the extent to which organizations expand network monitoring access, it’s important to choose a solution that lets you share access (or limit it) as decision makers see fit.
Just remember that while IT and management clearly benefit from the data your monitoring solution provides, giving them exclusive access could reduce that data’s effectiveness. Empowering others to use the tools could yield more decisions based on real insights, not assumptions.