Ten years ago, I was an I.T. director at a large construction contractor–the fifth largest heavy highway firm in the nation, actually. Back then, I had a staff that consisted of three hands-on employees, and our department was tasked with managing and maintaining approximately 180 devices on the network, from printers to workstations to IP telephones.
The ratio of staff-to-devices was about 45:1, which at the time was more or less consistent with many shops of that size. Today, such a small ratio should be considered a misallocation of human resources. today’s ratio looks more like 500:1 for an in-house staff. There are three reasons for this.
First, there are many more networked devices today than there were in 2002. It’s not just printers and computers any more. For example, security and fire alarm systems, phone systems, doorlocks, video camera surveillance, signage, HVAC, and even kitchen equipment are all now connected to network. In many cases, disconnection from the network rendered these devices inoperable. In order to properly manage and monitor all of these devices, by 2002 standards, you would’ve needed a corresponding increase in staffing.
The evolution of monitoring services is another reason for the drastic increase in the gap between people-numbers and device numbers. In the early days of network monitoring, simple protocols like SNMP were available to report performance data, but assembling and making sense of that data was a function relegated to the biggest Fortune 1000 budgets–and even then, the monitoring capabilities of those tools is dwarfed by modern cloud-based monitoring solutions like Best Technology’s MTP.
While MTP speaks SNMP, the monitoring protocol of ages past, it can also monitor devices using a half-dozen other modern standards like WMI, TCP, and screen-scraping. With these capabilities, the number of people required to monitor and manage a network or data center is drastically reduced.
As such, it’s a lot cheaper to manage networks using a cloud-based solution like MTP, especially in medium-to-small enterprises with fewer than a hundred servers. Indeed, many of Best Technology’s clients have discovered that MTP saves them tens of thousands of dollars per year in direct HR expenses… and that’s a third reason for the shift in the support ratio. Why spend money unnecessarily?
Now, Best Technology is monitoring thousands and thousands of devices across our distributed cloud-based management environment, a footprint that stretches all across northeast Ohio. With our dedicated staff who only does network management, our ratio of people-to-devices is actually 1500:1, and it’s quite comfortable, because our MTP Service Center has given us a startling efficiency advantage over our competitors. It has also, for the first time, given northeast Ohio companies access to a cost-effective monitoring and maintenance solution.
I sure wish MTP had been available to me when I was an I.T. Director. I would’ve subscribed in a heartbeat.