Monday, December 4, 2023
HomeOpinion & AnalysisA bad IT manager blames his network management tools

A bad IT manager blames his network management tools

NetworkTigers on network management tools and how to use them.

A poor workman blames his tools, the saying goes. Does the same hold true for network managers? What does a good network manager really need to prevent hacks, minimize disruption, and keep a network up and running at full capacity? Is network security and efficiency simply a result of the network management tools available, or is there more to the overall picture? 

New study findings show 75% of business communication happens via “old-school” methods such as phone calls and email attachments, rather than a centralized secure system

A new study from TechAnalysis Research finds that a majority of the time, a network manager’s main concern may be human rather than technological. The survey of over 1,000 employees, ages 18-74, illustrates that a majority of medium to large US businesses still utilize and seem to prefer “old school” communication methods such as email, text, or over the phone. Percentages do not vary drastically for older versus younger employees or with outside clients versus internal communications. Collaboration, meanwhile, is still done on less secure channels. Of those surveyed, 47% say that most internal collaboration largely occurs through emailing documents or using a shared network drive. Less than 25% of employees report using specialized company collaboration software. 

These findings are significant, as they show how simply risk gets introduced into an overall network. Even businesses that have invested in project management systems or SaaS solutions do not always use them, instead often copying and attaching documents to less secure email options. This not only introduces an element of risk with important documents but also can involve duplication of work as employees transfer data from one tool to another to speak the same language. 

Human error and network dysfunctionality

The University of North Georgia reports that even in today’s enlightened digital age, 95% of cybersecurity breaches are still due to human error. From phishing attempts, sharing passwords, incorrectly configured VPNs and more, the human element cannot be discounted when analyzing what causes tech failure. Even more so than disgruntled ex-employees, simple mistakes make up most network security issues. 

How can a network manager properly circumvent these kinds of breakdowns? Employee training and inter-departmental communication is a key step in creating a secure, flourishing network within a company, no matter how large or small. 

Staffing issues and network management positions

The same University of North Georgia study finds that over 300,000 cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. remain empty. Meanwhile, job postings in tech have risen by 74% over the last five years. More network management positions are being created every day, but retention remains a challenge. Employee turnover has increased by 50-75% in recent years, as hiring managers struggle with endless cycles of re-skilling and recruiting. Too often, positions go unfilled with IT professionals being asked to take over multiple roles in a department. 

Couple this picture of understaffed IT departments, less than tech-literate employees and lax communication practices with the fact that there is a hacking attempt every 39 seconds, according to the University of Maryland. Is it any wonder that only 38% of organizations worldwide would self-describe themselves as ready to face a sophisticated cyber attack? The number even seems too high when you consider the kinds of cybersecurity fail and hacks that should never have happened that take place regularly. 

Understanding the full picture of network efficiency and security

A network manager may only be as good as his network management tools – but more likely, he or she is only as successful as the rest of the team, as well as the prioritization that his or her department receives. All of the latest network tools can’t make a difference when they’re implemented by an understaffed, undersupported IT department. Additionally, even the most secure of networks can easily be compromised by employees who don’t know how to take network security seriously. 

IT services play an increasingly vital role in today’s economy and in every business’s infrastructure. It’s more than time that network professionals are taken seriously as they try to raise their voices about important concerns in today’s business landscape. 

Gabrielle West
Gabrielle West
Gabrielle West is an experienced tech and travel writer currently based in New York City. Her work has appeared on Ladders, Ultrahuman, and more.

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A bad IT manager blames his network management tools