As knowledgeable and as experienced as IT managers may be, they unfortunately don’t know everything related to the IT industry and there’ll be certain instances when they need to take advice from third parties.
A prime example of one of these instances is when a business develops from a small organization into a thriving medium-sized company and there’s a need to more effectively manage the company’s IT systems, generally through the use of systems monitoring software.
Something that isn’t a necessity for smaller businesses, if you’re an IT manager – or are currently filling a similar role to an IT manager – and are trying to get your head around systems monitoring software, take a look at the following seven points that you need to know before you head out to buy the most appropriate software for your business’s needs.
- It’s going to take time to find the right product for you – as there are numerous companies offering systems monitoring software, it’s important to understand that purchasing the software might not be a quick process if you’re planning on comparing the products from a few different companies, something which is generally recommended.
- You need to look past the sales pitches – whether they’re obvious or more subtle, every company will be pitching their software to you in one way or another and it’s imperative that you have the ability to see the software in action before you pay for it, so to ensure it’s right for your business and you aren’t taken in by the sales talk.
- Looks are everything – no matter how experienced you might be as an IT professional and irrelevant of how used to seeing basic systems and software packages you might be, everyone prefers a piece of software that has an interface which is easy on the eye and more importantly, easy-to-use.
- Don’t just assume that because a major organization uses one type of software, it’s right for your needs – systems monitoring software is developed for businesses of various sizes and therefore whilst a global organization might be using one type of software, if you’re a smaller, medium-sized business, this might not necessarily be the best option for you.
- Take recommendations – OK, so you might not get a recommendation for a product from your direct competitor, but there’s no reason why another similar sized business shouldn’t be able to recommend you systems monitoring software or give you the positive and negative aspects of the software that they use.
- Look at what extras are included – whilst all systems monitoring software does just that – monitors systems – a lot of the software on the market is packed full of extras, from Root Cause Analysis through to the ability to manage server, network and storage systems all in one place and it’s imperative that you take these extras into consideration.
- Support is vital – it doesn’t matter how much knowledge of your current IT set-up you or your IT manager have, installing systems monitoring software means that you’re going to have to get to grips with a whole new package and it’s for this reason why it would be advisable to choose a company that offers extensive support.Having a dedicated support line for you to call is great, but if the company also offers online resources, training materials and a technical FAQ base, you can ensure that any problems you encounter with the software are resolved as quickly as possible.
N.B. This post was first published on the dedicated Hitachi blog on 28 February 2011.