Methods Used to Effectively Manage a Network

Under even the best circumstances, managing a network can be complicated and expensive, not to mention the amount of human resources required to do so effectively. Thankfully, there are methods and a variety of software applications that can help to simplify the management of your technical resources, while saving money in the process.

As with most things in life, it’s a good idea to develop a clear strategy for moving forward with an endeavor. This could not be any truer when it comes to managing a network in an era where technical resources are at the top of the list of the most valuable assets a company owns. It goes without saying that effective management of a network plays a key role in the viability and profitability of companies around the globe. How the network is managed impacts everything from payroll software to website performance monitoring tools, and all of the associated activities.

One of the most critical tasks in managing a network is accounting for the technology owned by the organization. The entire infrastructure should be accounted for and documented, which is usually a task shared by technology and accounting teams. There are also applications that assist with identifying software on a network, which can simplify the process. Using network management software can complement manual efforts to identify all network assets, such as firewalls, servers, switches, routers and other systems used across the enterprise.

Perhaps chief among the priorities in network management is regulatory compliance. In our current digital age with an increasing prevalence of cybercrime, complying with regulations has become even more important. Whether HIPAA, PCI or Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, passing an audit is just one of the many reasons to ensure internal practices satisfy all requirements. There can be significant financial reasons why compliance is prudent and should remain a high priority.

When it comes to emergency preparedness, technical teams should ensure they understand which systems within the network are dependent upon others. Given the increase of geographically dispersed business units, it’s imperative to understand when one device is dependent upon another. Many network monitoring tools help mitigate this issue by allowing the administrator to set and reduce the number of dependencies.

Another critical area of network management is setting alerts to assist help desk personnel with efficiently managing issues that arise, thereby reducing down time. Whether during business hours or after hours, prompt notification and resolution of technical issues can affect bottom line results. Some believe that one of the most critical aspects of network management is maintaining awareness of who’s accessing the network perimeter. There are intrusion detection systems that alert administrators concerning issues with traffic flow and potential system compromises.

One aspect of network management that has always been important is having a list that identifies the location of all systems, including how everything accesses the network. This can be a useful tool to have for ensuring proper accounting of all components of your infrastructure. Although network management can feel overwhelming at times, there are a variety of software applications that can simplify the process.

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