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Proactive IT Systems Administration: Is It Worth the Expense?

By the DynaSis Team

Proactive IT administration—where specialized technology continually scans a company’s networks and systems to detect and promote resolution of potential issues—is becoming increasingly popular among organizations seeking greater availability and employee productivity. With these technologies, small software “agents” installed on the systems scan for problems and either fix them automatically or alert technicians (often at a third-party provider’s location) who can step in and perform any necessary work.

The question for firms that haven’t adopted proactive IT administration then becomes, “Is this service really worth it?” For companies that can tolerate a lengthy amount of system downtime without having their business disrupted, the answer might be, “No.” However, most firms consider significant downtime unacceptable, making the theoretical benefits very attractive. DynaSis provides this service to its customers, so we thought it would be interesting to examine the hard-dollar benefits of proactive IT monitoring and management.

We found a 2010 survey, conducted by a leading provider of the software that enables services such as these, that indicates the ROI is very appealing. In the survey of 100 companies using proactive administration technologies, 60 percent reported that the solution proved its worth within 60 days of purchase.

A closer inspection revealed that the savings were significant in reduced IT expense, alone. Productivity gains for IT-specific functions amounted to 55 minutes a month, and included a reduction in the time to perform backups, system upgrades and patch installs, regulatory and compliance checks, and more.

Furthermore, these systems can also help with automated power management—where electricity flowing to idle machines is reduced. As a final “sustainability” bonus, proactive IT administration cuts down on technician visits to resolve problems, which reduces miles driven and, therefore, corporate carbon footprints.

These benefits were calculated completely independent of the “business downtime” metric we mentioned initially—the one that most companies consider in their decision. We see, nearly every day, how proactive system monitoring and management makes a major difference in IT outcomes in this area. For example, without a proactive monitoring solution in place, overloaded hardware can go undetected for months, until it causes a major outage that must be resolved with a lengthy technician visit. With proactive administration, technicians are alerted immediately, and they can often fix the problem remotely with a few clicks of the mouse. Users have no knowledge of the activity and company operations continue, unaffected.

The unobtrusive nature of proactive IT administration is one of the variables that sometimes makes it hard for us to illustrate the benefit of this service to our potential customers. If you have questioned the value of having remote intervention before trouble starts, we hope this information has helped. To learn more about proactive IT monitoring, management and administration, or to explore the services we offer in this area, we invite you to give us a call.

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