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5 Ways Mapping Your Network Could Get You Promoted

If you’re an IT guy, you’re probably the type of person who likes to go the extra mile for your company. You’re working your tail off because you want to help the company save costs. Or increase user satisfaction. Or improve uptime for your products and services.

A great way for you to really help your company out (and stand out from the crowd) is by mapping your network infrastructure. Today’s network mapping tools can help you do all these things and more.

Here are five scenarios in which you’re the hero because you’ve implemented a network mapping solution to help your IT team monitor the network in real-time. Read on. Maybe this is the year you’ll get that promotion after all.

  1. Your software helps you prevent a catastrophic failure

Let’s say you’re scanning the live network map on a given Monday, and you notice a huge spike in traffic. Because you’ve been mapping and monitoring network traffic for months, you know this is out of the ordinary, so you click to view the status window within your network mapping tool. Inspecting the abnormality reveals that a core switch is completely strained.  By monitoring not just the device performance but also its physical attributes, you are able to provide recommendation to your boss on how to best mitigate a potentially business-critical situation.

Gone unnoticed, the switch would’ve failed eventually, so fixing the problem ahead of time means real dollars were saved from the downtime the failure would’ve cost your company. Not only that, but you also save your IT team the overtime (and ulcers) fixing the problem in a crunch would cause. If your boss only praises you for one thing this year, this very well may be the one he or she remembers.

  1. Your management of network bandwidth allows you to grow your network infrastructure, supporting new and better devices at work

In a day when devices numbers are expanding and more and more technology is Internet-enabled, you have to make sure your network can support the kind of impact and strain that adding new devices brings. If you’re regularly mapping and monitoring device performance, you already know how much bandwidth you can handle.

Suppose your CEO decides this is the year the company goes paperless. Because of your regular bandwidth monitoring, you know the amount of bandwidth the network can handle with its current hardware and software infrastructure, so you’re able to prepare the network to handle the influx of new laptops, as well as the applications and systems that will allow you to make this change.

Especially if you’re in an industry being particularly transformed by technology like education or healthcare, helping to enable this kind of innovation won’t go unnoticed.

  1. Your troubleshooting is so speedy, they call you flash

Before you had an up-to-date network map, you didn’t have the ability to proactively address network issues, so it might be a user phone call that alerted you to the fact that a major application was down. Now, you’ve positioned yourself for success, visually mapping every IP-enabled devices in your network and its Layer 2 connections so when issues come up, you can quickly see:

  • The current status of the failed device
  • Exactly when it failed
  • Traffic levels beforehand
  • The impact of the outage

This makes time from detection to solution all the shorter. Don’t expect a cape and a mask, but it’s looking pretty good for you.

  1. You detect issues after-hours while everyone’s at happy hour

Even when the office is closed, you’ve set up customized notifiers to tell you about critical network events. You’ve set it up so when you’re in the middle of a basket of nachos and a heated discussion about last night’s playoff game (so you don’t immediately check your phone), you’ll get one more chance to review and respond before the situation’s escalated to another IT team member.

If you happen to check your phone, you’ll see the text message that one of your routers is exceeding its ideal bandwidth threshold. When you log into your work laptop, you pull up your browser-based map to get a better view of device behavior and determine if an onsite visit will be necessary.

Thankfully, to manage 24/7 network monitoring, you don’t need a team to hang back for the late shift, or work an all-nighter—with alerts, you know when there’s an issue, and otherwise you can enjoy your evening in peace.

  1. Your boss can tie ROI back to your network monitoring

Mapping your network can result in return on investment (ROI) in numerous ways. If you’re a managed services provider (MSP), the ROI may be the client relationships you strengthen. It may be through savings from redirecting staff who are on-call or responsible for manual network monitoring to other more strategic initiatives. Or the ROI may be through the cost savings that come from choosing a solution that doesn’t break the bank.

Whatever the direct reason, it’s clear that network mapping can drive significant ROI for your company, which is always a cause for thanks.

Here’s to optimal performance

IT may typically be a thankless field, but with the right tools and capabilities, your company’s ability to ensure uptime and user satisfaction may just fill your file with good tidings.

And if a year of exceptional network performance and growth via network mapping won’t translate into a promotion this year, then here’s hoping your boss at least buys the nachos next time.

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With over 15 years of expertise in IT infrastructure, consulting, and support, Kevin Jackson is currently a technical solutions architect at HelpSystems. He has written extensively about IT network management and performance best practices. Prior to joining HelpSystems, he worked with an IT firm as an IT technology design engineer and business analyst. He holds a Masters in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix.

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