Last month we discussed Asset Management and the benefits it provides your business. If you haven’t checked it out yet you can find it on our blog titled “DOES MY BUSINESS REALLY NEED ASSET MANAGEMENT?”. We will now be discussing IT Asset Monitoring which ties in very closely with management, so close that they are often defined as the same thing. As it is beneficial for you to manage an inventory of all the assets critical to the operation of your business, it is equally, if not more beneficial to monitor these devices on a regular basis.
What is IT asset monitoring?
Asset Monitoring is the act of maintaining these assets at the device level, both software and hardware. Certain aspects of the device are monitored and then action is taken to prevent, or correct issues hence, ‘Managing the device’. Some of these aspects include;
- Hardware Health
- Operating System Patches and Updates
- Endpoint Security
- Backup Software
In almost all cases these assets are monitored 24/7, 365, constantly feeding data back to the Managed Service Provider (MSP).
What types of assets are monitored?
In the last article we also briefly discussed some of the assets that are monitored. To recap, Servers and workstations (laptops and desktops) are always monitored, as they are the wheels that keep your business running. Additionally, data backup appliances and router/firewalls should always (very rare cases that don’t apply) be monitored. Some assets are not compatible with the automatic data collection software used by Managed Service Providers a few include (but not limited to) network printers, security system and camera appliances, and some unmanged network switches. These few devices are managed and monitored manually on a regular basis.
Why is it important for your assets to be monitored and how does it benefit your business?
Overall you gain control over your IT Infrastructure on both physical and software levels. The ability to easily view the assets across the infrastructure gives the MSP better administration control as well as accountability.
- Up to date software. This includes Operating system updates, security patches, and Endpoint security updates
- Ensures that your backups are configured properly and running on a regular basis.
- Achieve maximum efficiency by monitoring and maintaining hardware (Hard Drives, Memory, etc.). IT professionals keep the pulse on the the current health of installed hardware through a managed service provider, creating a forecast as to when entire systems or individual parts need replaced.
- Ensure Compliance with PCI, HIPAA, and other data security standards.
- Automated asset discovery so you know what devices are connected to your network at all times.
Taking a proactive approach by monitoring your hardware and software through these practices, allows your business to financially stay on track avoiding unnecessary interruptions had you otherwise not implemented monitoring.
Earlier I made mention of Operating System updates, security patches, and endpoint security. With the increase in cyber attacks, and the rise of ransomware the importance of keeping your systems up to date and secure is more important than it has ever been. Next month we will discuss this in much more detail. Stay Tuned!