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Why Monitoring Can Be the Lifesaver the Public Sector Needs

July 28, 2020

Why Monitoring Can Be the Lifesaver the Public Sector Needs

One of the business consequences from the pandemic—increased remote working—is causing technology challenges across most industries, including the public sector. Most employees who are now working from home have probably never had to do so before, while those still attending their place of work are mostly people in central government trying to keep the country running, or other critical roles.

These roles all require technology to cope with the new demand for accessibility and visibility, and this means the applications organizations took for granted are now mission critical. Custom apps must not falter—in fact, the demand for them to operate at an optimized level has been prioritized because even a small performance degradation or outage could be disastrous.

IT teams need to bulletproof their organizations’ applications and infrastructure to ensure nothing fails. Infrastructure monitoring, therefore, has never been more vital.

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Managing the Ups and Downs

All organizations in the public sector should be anticipating their needs. Every aspect of the public sector—especially government and health care—will likely see demand fluctuations in the coming months. Some organizations responsible for medical supplies, such as sanitizer or PPE, will have seen demands for these products soar in the last few months, and the technology supporting the tracking and movement of these supplies is crucial to ensure the resources quickly get to the places they’re needed most.

Meanwhile, organizations or departments experiencing a quieter period—the department dealing with passport applications, for example—may feel tempted to shed their current monitoring costs. On the surface, this sounds reasonable, but these teams should instead reconsider. They can use metrics to optimize their infrastructure costs, so when their area is in demand again, they’re better able to cope and serve the public.

Some organizations may also be shifting strategies to help support the NHS front line. For example, departments with manufacturing equipment may switch to making protective equipment for medical staff. Such dramatic changes will require full-stack monitoring as supply chains are transformed on short notice. Similarly, organizations suddenly requiring more assistance will need to monitor the influx of temporary staff—for example, the hundreds of thousands of volunteers from the general public who are delivering medicine or food and driving vulnerable people to medical appointments. The infrastructure required to manage these new roles will need to be monitored carefully to ensure volunteers are sent to the right place at the right time to help those who need it most.

Ensuring the Tech Is Up to the Task

With almost everyone across the U.K. requiring something from the public sector right now, it’s time to prioritize monitoring across the depth and breadth of applications and infrastructure. With effective monitoring across the board, data will be available to employees and the general public at the touch of a button, keeping everyone up-to-date and on track and helping us beat this virus sooner.

Now is not a time to take chances. Whenever rapid changes in demand occur, they have a ripple effect on other applications. “Capacity on Demand” cloud architectures only perform as well as the underlying resource. If it’s oversized and over-reserved, it’s a waste of money; if it’s undersized, performance is impacted. Thus, it’s important to always monitor everything.

All teams are on the receiving end of extra demands, and this is impacting shared infrastructures. Organizations not expanding their monitoring strategies and approaches to include everything related to increased demand will likely fail to ensure appropriate performance and be unable to optimize operating costs.

The general public is more in contact with the government and the NHS than ever before, and it’s crucial for these methods of communication to remain open at all times. To do this, IT teams are increasingly relying on hybrid infrastructure and APM tools. The latter help IT professionals monitor their entire application stack, including applications, user experience, and the performance of the infrastructure required to deliver information and advice to the public. Traditionally, APM has been used only for select “critical” applications and infrastructure due to budgets and perceived complexity. But since there are now simple, cost-effective, and quick time-to-value APM solutions available, it’s time for the public sector to reassess this strategy.

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Sascha Giese holds various technical certifications, including being a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), VMware Technical Sales Professional (VTSP), AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, and Network Performance Monitor and Server & Application Monitor SolarWinds Certified Professional® (SCP). He has more than 10 years of technical IT experience, four of which have been as a senior pre-sales engineer at SolarWinds. As a senior pre-sales engineer, Sascha was responsible for product training SolarWinds channel partners and customers, regularly participated in the annual SolarWinds Partner Summit EMEA, and contributed in the company’s professional certification program, SolarWinds Certified Professional.