Don’t Overwhelm Your Network Management Team With Holiday Chaos

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By: Pam Baker|

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Ah, the holidays — the season for magically finding ways to make sure the business runs without a hitch while also helping the network management team spend time with their families. Fortunately, your team can wrap up this problem almost as easily as packages under a tree if you do a little prep work ahead of time.

Make a List and Check It Twice

The first step in holiday chaos prevention is to find out who will be working in or with the office during the holidays that may require tech support. Don’t forget to check schedules for remote workers, freelancers and contract workers, too.

“Check the calendar and talk to HR or your client contacts,” Allan Thorvaldsen wrote on his Panorama9 blog. “What’s the official holiday policy? Is your office closed between Christmas and New Year’s, for example? Are there specific days that cushion major holidays — like Thanksgiving and Christmas — where people might be in the office and expect your help? It helps to know exactly how the schedule will play out so you can create systems to manage requests around the busy holiday season.”

In other words, make sure you have a complete account of who is working and when so you can plot times when tech support is likely to be in demand. That bit of information will help you schedule your team effectively during the period.

Stuff the Stockings With Self-Service Aids and Automated Support

Many tech support and network issues are very common. So common, in fact, that network management teams find themselves repeating the same instructions over and over again. It may not be necessary to repeat it again during the holidays, however.

A self-service knowledge system with well-targeted troubleshooting articles can be a better, more cost-efficient means of addressing many common issues. This way, users can easily and quickly summon the information they need at the moment they need it.

Users, too, are often happier if they can quickly look up solutions and solve the issue on their own. Remember, they want to get out of the office quickly and celebrate the holidays with their friends and family — not waste time waiting for an overloaded network technician.

You can also prompt employees to send requests for foreseeable IT needs early in a self-service system. This way, IT can knock out a lot of those requests prior to the holiday break.

Think of Predictive Analytics as Your Helpful Elf

Predictive analytics can help tame the inevitable network management chaos that happens during the holidays by forecasting issues before they happen. Early prevention means fewer hectic interruptions for your employees.

Analytics works by analyzing both historical and real-time data to predict upcoming issues. Remember that problem that seems to come up every year during holidays or peak periods? Say goodbye forever because now you can see it coming and prevent it from ever happening. The same is true with new issues.

Plus, predictive analytics is kind to your budget and saves you money, which is a much smarter long-term strategy than paying holiday overtime.

According to an EMA white paper on improving IT agility and efficiency with analytics, researchers found “impressive capabilities across an extensive variety of use cases, including performance, capacity optimization and business alignment, as well as a wide variety of heuristics, with big data in real-time or near-real-time playing an important role.”

Santa’s Secret for Network Management

A strong network management service can give you much better control of monitoring and security plus performance, problem, change and configuration management. It can also help you manage your corporate network during hectic times like the holiday season. Maybe that’s how Santa runs an entire global operation in one night.

With the right tools in place, everything runs smoothly and everyone has a happier holiday.

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About The Author

Pam Baker

Freelance Writer

Pam Baker is an award-winning freelance journalist based in Georgia. Her published credits number in the thousands, including books, e-books, e-briefs, white papers, industry analysis reports and articles in leading publications, including Institutional Investor, CIO, Fierce Markets and InformationWeek, among many others. Her latest book, "Data Divination: Big Data Strategies," has been met with rave reviews, was featured in a prestigious National Press Club event, is recommended by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for business executives and is currently being used as a textbook in both business and tech schools in universities around the world. Baker is a "big-picturist," meaning she enjoys writing on topics that overlap and interact, such as technology and business. Her fans regualrly follow her work in science, technology, business and finance.

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