January in Australia marks the beginning of the Australian Open, bringing together over 780,000 people in Melbourne to see the best of the best battle it out for the Grand Slam title. All this hype inspired SolarWinds Head Geek Sascha Giese to reflect on the surprising similarities between IT and tennis pros.
There’s no doubt both IT pros and tennis professionals work in fast-paced and unpredictable environments and require persistence.
In tennis, a few seconds can be the difference between the success of winning a Grand Slam or not, and in an IT pro’s case, a fault being left undetected for just a few seconds could be the difference between the network going down or saving it. Fast reflexes are essential for both IT pros and tennis players at the Australian Open—in fact, taking your eye off the ball for one second could mean missing the winning shot.
Tennis greats like Serena Williams, a 23-time singles Grand Slam champion, understand the need for quick reactions, to identify her weaknesses on the court and develop and resolve them to ensure she’s at her best for the next match she plays. IT network management requires a similar awareness of weakness and the need for quick reaction.
IT pros need to know what’s happening across their network—every minute and every hour of every day. This responsibility may leave them regularly asking: is our network secure? Is there a chance of a fault? How can I optimise the network? Does everything look “normal?” And how did the chair umpire miss that? With all these thoughts on their minds, they must ensure they can quickly detect, diagnose, and resolve network performance problems and outages to make a comeback against their opponent.
So, like the global tennis pros set to battle it out in Melbourne, how can IT pros safeguard their spot at the top and ensure their opponent doesn’t serve the winning shot?
When It Comes Down to the Wire
In tennis, one wrong move can mean you lose the set and you’re out of the Aussie Open. Likewise, for IT pros, one missed red flag can mean a fault has slipped through the cracks. A single fault left unnoticed could cause downtime and increase expenses to fix the issue caused by a single human error. According to IDC, the average cost of an infrastructure failure is US$100,000 per hour. This could be an additional expense many organisations can’t afford to make.
The key is to identify business-critical areas of the IT infrastructure and ensure they have the right infrastructure solutions at their disposal. IT pros need to push their businesses towards placing their investments into the additional tools to help them effectively monitor their infrastructure. Without this insight, it’s a question of when, not if, an IT failure will happen. And when it does, without adequate tools, IT pros will be looking for a needle in a haystack—an almost impossible task.
Equip Yourself With the Right Tools
The correct tools can reduce a businesses’ costs over time by allowing IT pros to identify and remediate issues sooner, saving the company from expensive downtime and reducing expenses.
In a similar way, the correct training and equipment can reduce a tennis player’s chances of becoming injured. A comprehensive monitoring toolset offering insightful data can help IT pros take a proactive stance against potential failures.
Instead of waiting for downtime and remediating after the fact, effective monitoring allows IT pros to get on the front foot and keep issues from arising, like a tennis player predicting what the competition will do next.
Being one step ahead of the issue, or competitor, can be the difference between conceding a point and hitting the ball back to the other side of the court, and resolving the problem to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Buying an expensive tennis racket doesn’t mean you’re ready for the Australian Open, and the same goes for monitoring. The right tool means little in the hands of someone who can’t use it correctly.
Efficiency Is Key
By prioritising real-time monitoring of network performance, secure connectivity, and data privacy and security, IT pros can keep their organisation’s networks connected, secure, and deliver benefits and new opportunities for their business.
If IT departments have the correct tools in place to fit in with a business’ individual needs, IT pros can ensure the success of IT infrastructure solutions throughout the tournament and ultimately win their own Aussie Open title. With this, IT pros could spend their newfound time exploring other areas of the business, like upskilling in a new area or researching new emerging technology solutions. I’ll be tuning into the Australian Open this year—will you?