It's clear to you that your organization needs a network monitoring solution. You've evaluated your options. You've typed up a neat email recommendation to shoot over to Mr. or Mrs. Boss. But before hitting "send," you pause.
If your boss is not on board, are you prepared with a convincing case to persuade him or her?
If you're worried that your boss won't see the value in network monitoring, keep reading for common questions or concerns your boss is bound to share—and how you can respond with confidence.
Your boss asks: "How will network monitoring impact our bottom line?"
You say: "Immediately and dramatically."
Any disruption to your network could have an immediate, even catastrophic impact on your organization. You don't have to be a major telecommunications provider or airline carrier to lose millions of dollars from unexpected downtime.
Let's say your email server goes down in the middle of the work day. As customer support requests pile up, customers will grow unhappier by the minute. Requests for products and services will go unaddressed. Employees won't be able to communicate internally. And on top of all that, no one will get any work done.
Or what if a critical business system fails? Without access to information housed in an online order management software, CRM, or ERP, some employees might as well be done for the day. Inability to access business-critical data can put a halt in everything from day-to-day operations to time-sensitive operations, like closing important deals or meeting performance deadlines.
In a down situation, your bottom line will get hit on multiple levels with every passing minute. But as soon as you implement a network monitoring solution, the awareness and visibility you create will help enhance network performance levels, ensure smooth performance, and prevent against unexpected outages from day one. Uptime is essential to the bottom line. Network monitoring protects that.
Your boss asks: "How will network monitoring generate revenue?"
You say: "You might be surprised."
If your boss is a member of the C-suite, or has a dotted line to the C-suite, he or she cares about revenue. And obviously you do, too.
The ways network monitoring can help generate revenue will vary. For instance, internet service providers can use network monitoring software to monitor customer usage. When bandwidth approaches certain thresholds, you can point to the data and tell them it's time to upgrade. (Here's a true story of a customer who does this today.) Online retailers will generate more revenue with faster internet, monitored in real-time by a network monitoring tool.
But for businesses of all kinds, hiccup-free network operations is the backbone behind what you do every day. Without your routers and switches and firewalls functioning to maintain connectivity and freely-flowing traffic, the insurance won't get sold. The online class won't get taught. The products won't get manufactured. Your network is intrinsically tied to your revenue.
If your boss didn't see it before, it shouldn't take much for him or her to get the picture.
Your boss says: "We can't afford to invest in network monitoring."
You say: "We can't afford not to."
Network monitoring comes at all price points. The right one will be simple to install and intuitive to use, so you can get started right away. Most network administrators say that the investment begins to pay off immediately. Why? They start getting advance notice of issues that were previously only reported by users calling in to complain.
Just as we talked about how network monitoring will impact your bottom line and generate revenue, it'll also have substantial hard and soft ROI (coming up next!). IT is only going to get more complicated. As it does, you'll need the right tools to handle the growing complexity. Make the investment now and it will pay off over time.
Your boss says: "Show me the ROI."
You say: "Happy to."
Here it is, the big Kahuna… the question everybody hates. You know as soon as you start monitoring your network, your manual activities will decrease and you'll reduce support calls. Unplanned network downtime will either decrease significantly or be totally eliminated. Troubleshooting will go faster. Meeting SLAs will be easier. But your boss wants proof in the form of numbers.
To help you tackle this question, we created a value calculator and a quick 6-slide presentation you can use to determine the ROI of network monitoring software. You'll also see some stories of how real companies have experienced ROI from network monitoring. Compared to the risks it helps you avert, network monitoring is completely affordable. Downtime isn't.
Your boss says: "Our network isn't big enough to monitor."
You say: "Maybe not today, but what about tomorrow?"
Any growing business is going to inherit new technology and upgrade old technology in the years to come. You may only have a small inventory of devices now, but what about in a year? Five years?
Maybe you're a school district just starting to adapt new technology in the classroom. As you roll out everything from smart projectors to laptops for every student, will your bandwidth be able to scale? If you're a growing start-up today, how large will you be in a couple years—and what new technology will you be using that is critical to your business success? Monitoring core devices now, before your network grows, will provide a baseline to understand how the network's performing today so you can plan appropriately for tomorrow.
With the connected nature of today's organizations, network monitoring is an essential task you can't skip. A monitored network will enhance everything else you're doing from an IT perspective. Get your boss on board as soon as you can so you can start reaping the benefits network monitoring has to offer.
More helpful resources:
Ultimate Network Monitoring Software Evaluation Kit: If your boss or another teammate is on the line, this kit bundles everything you need to make a decision in one convenient spot.
Network Monitoring Pricing: For Intermapper, our network monitoring solution, we offer four pricing tiers to help meet every organization's unique needs.
How Do Device-Based and Sensor-Based Pricing Compare? Learn more about how device-based licensing compares to the more expensive sensor-based pricing.