All too often companies view remote IT spaces as storage units and treat them as such. This means many data centers—including remote server rooms, racks, and closets—are left unmanned for extended periods, if not all the time. And while it may seem like a wise financial move to reduce overhead and personnel wherever possible, leaving these spaces unmonitored can be a costly mistake.
Without employees to provide round-the-clock support to these locations, it can be difficult to track issues as they happen. Overheating, short-circuiting, power outages, and even human error can all result in downtime... and downtime is expensive. (RF Code found that outages can cost upwards of $2350 a minute!) Worse still, an emergency—like a fire, flood, hurricane, or other natural disaster—can cause extensive damage if no one is monitoring the location.
So while it’s clear that unsupervised and decentralized IT locations require better visibility via a remote monitoring solution, one question remains: who’s responsible for tracking the status of these spaces? Should it be the sole responsibility of the IT department? The network operations manager? IT facility management? Or somebody else entirely? Let’s explore the options…
IT managers and administrators oversee the computing resources within an organization. Their responsibilities include setting up IT infrastructure, which includes installing software and hardware, updating systems, connecting routers, and much more.
IT managers typically work in teams, with each person responsible for a specific element of IT infrastructure: systems management, network management, cybersecurity, etc. IT managers are also responsible for building and maintaining server racks and data centers, ensuring these environments remain safe and secure from both cyber and physical attacks.
It’s therefore valid to ask about the extent of their responsibilities for monitoring decentralized and remote IT locations. Large companies with big budgets often hire IT managers whose entire purpose is to handle the remote infrastructure. Smaller organizations may not invest in this role, leaving the rest of the IT department to shoulder the burden or even outsource the task to a third-party vendor.
Network Operations Center (NOC) Managers
A NOC manager is the point person for an organization’s network and oversees data center operations. The network operations manager has to make sure that data-related workflows are efficient and secure as well as develop a disaster recovery plan. This includes data backup procedures and data recovery strategies in the event of a system or equipment failure or natural disaster.
Does their responsibility extend to IT resources outside the data center? Should they be tasked with monitoring remote IT locations that are part of a decentralized network? The answer to this is that it’s at the discretion of each organization. If the company chooses to include these responsibilities in the NOC’s job description, then yes, the NOC must ensure servers and networking devices are working properly regardless of their location.
While IT equipment is typically the responsibility of dedicated IT managers or NOC managers, in some organizations it falls to a facilities manager. This adds to the other areas of a facilities manager’s work, which include making buildings safe and comfortable.
Why would a facility manager be tasked with monitoring the status of IT locations? It usually comes down to the reciprocal relationship between IT and facilities: the facility infrastructure affects IT systems, and IT systems influence facility design. There’s no clear dividing line.
Generally, however, the facilities manager would focus more on controlling ambient temperature, air quality, and the like, while IT managers would attend to the functionality of the servers themselves. There’s the potential for overlap in bearing responsibility for remote IT environments.
Managed Service Providers
Organizations that don’t have their own IT infrastructure personnel may opt to outsource their needs to managed service providers (MSPs). They oversee the technical needs of the company’s network, security, and applications, and their goal is to maintain system uptimes. Any failures threaten to hurt productivity and, even worse, a security breach could mean the loss of sensitive data.
While the MSP will physically visit a company’s main data center when required, their responsibilities are less defined when it comes to remote unmanned spaces. A company may explicitly hire an MSP to handle issues at remote sites, however, this is usually an expensive proposition. A small business or a non-profit may not have the budget for this kind of service, which means the responsibility of monitoring unmanned IT spaces must fall to someone else.
General Manager or Business Owner
In many cases, small and medium-sized businesses may decide to invest in key IT assets such as servers but lack the budget to either (a) hire in-house management or (b) pay for a third-party solution—like an MSP—to monitor them. In these circumstances, the general manager or business owner may end up managing the company’s IT assets, including those housed at remote locations.
This is hardly an ideal situation... Your average GM or business owner often lacks the expertise required to mitigate any issues that might arise in a compromised IT environment. And there’s the issue of time. With only 24 hours in a day, their attention and guidance are usually needed elsewhere across the organization.
Sentry: Real-Time Asset Monitoring for Unmanned, Remote Spaces
So, who should be responsible for keeping track of remote IT locations? The question remains unanswered as it depends on each company’s unique size, location, org structure, and budget. One thing that isn’t up for debate? That someone needs to be keeping tabs on these spaces. And that task just got a lot easier with Sentry.
The latest innovation from RF Code, Sentry is a new asset monitoring tool specifically designed for unmanned remote IT spaces. It takes monitoring to the next level with optical and thermal cameras, battery and network backup, and automatic real-time, customizable alerts. You can easily detect hotspots, intrusions, and humidity changes while tracking as many sites as you want without the cost or complexity of enterprise-level tools. Indeed, installation is as easy as it gets: it doesn’t require any technical knowledge and can be completed in under half an hour.
After installing Sentry, it delivers accurate info on all of your equipment, as if you were on-site. And Sentry doesn’t sleep. It safely and effectively monitors your remote resources so that you can sleep. Ready for simple, safe, affordable IT monitoring? Schedule a Sentry demo now!