A network operations center (NOC) team requires an efficient framework to analyze network data and resolve issues quickly. At the same time, NOC team managers need to capture metrics to discover the best ways to improve team efficiency, along with find ways to obtain actionable insights that they can use to streamline their network operations.
Overcoming the aforementioned challenges, however, often proves to be a tall task for NOC teams. To better understand why this may be the case, let’s consider IT infrastructure incidents and their impact on NOC teams.
How Do Successful NOC Teams Approach IT Infrastructure Incidents?
IT infrastructure incidents may force an organization’s telecommunications network to stop working. This can cause downtime and outages that damage an organization’s bottom line. Perhaps worst of all, IT infrastructure incidents can make it virtually impossible for employees to provide customers with the service and support they deserve.
Today’s NOC teams face tremendous pressure to stop IT infrastructure incidents before they happen. To accomplish this goal, NOC teams must ensure that an organization can meet assorted business and technical requirements at all times. On the other hand, NOC teams typically possess limited time and resources. And if IT infrastructure problems arise, these teams must act quickly to limit the risk of downtime and outages.
A successful NOC team knows exactly what to do, regardless of the size and severity of an IT infrastructure incident. In fact, this team likely follows a series of best practices to ensure optimal productivity and efficiency.
Developing NOC team best practices is no easy feat. Fortunately, we’re here to help you transform your ordinary NOC team into a high-performing group.
Now, let’s take a look at four best practices of high-performing NOC teams.
1.Ongoing Collaboration Among Team Members
Do your organization’s NOC team members prioritize collaboration? If not, they may be missing out on opportunities to help your organization limit downtime and outages, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.
NOC team silos are detrimental to an organization. If NOC team members operate on their own, they are unlikely to share information with one another. And if an IT infrastructure incident occurs, each NOC team member may work individually to try to solve the problem, which could lead to extended downtime and outages and wasted time and resources.
Believe it or not, driving collaboration across a NOC team can be easy. If your organization deploys state-of-the-art incident management and alert escalation software, it should have no trouble fostering collaboration among NOC team members.
The ideal incident management and alert escalation software boasts real-time collaboration capabilities. It simplifies NOC team communication by enabling team members to communicate with one another via popular chat tools like HipChat and Slack. As a result, NOC team members immediately can get involved in IT infrastructure incident management and resolution and achieve the best-possible results.
2. Accountability for Team Results
In some instances, NOC team members lose sight of their ultimate goal – ensuring an IT infrastructure incident is addressed and resolved. Yet a high-performing NOC team takes pride in its work. As such, this team emphasizes accountability and responsibility in all that it does.
Building an accountable and responsible NOC team usually is easier said than done. But with the right team structure in place, NOC team members can get the support they need, whenever they need it. Additionally, this structure may raise the bar for a NOC team, as team members will be responsible to their respective organizations and one another.
Ideally, a NOC team structure should include two roles:
Engineers: Perform network monitoring to ensure optimal network performance.
Managers: Assign tasks to engineers and verify relevant personnel are notified about IT infrastructure incidents.
Managers are responsible for motivating engineers and helping them keep an organization’s network up and running. They also must track engineers’ day-to-day efforts to guarantee an organization can avoid significant downtime and outages.
Incident management and alert escalation software is an all-in-one solution that helps bridge the communications gap that sometimes exists between NOC engineers and managers. The software boasts enterprise team management capabilities to help NOC managers assign tasks to the right engineers, at the right time.
Furthermore, NOC managers can use incident management and alert escalation software to view all aspects of an IT infrastructure incident. The software even allows NOC managers to track each team member’s response to incident alerts, increasing accountability across a NOC team.
3. Commitment to Constant Improvement
A high-performing NOC team won’t rest on its laurels. Conversely, this team will do everything it can to improve, including monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs).
Common NOC KPIs include:
Incident resolution average
Incident time to acknowledgement
Percentage of incidents resolved by a NOC before escalation
Although KPIs play key roles in measuring a NOC team’s performance, many NOC teams fail to utilize comprehensive metrics and reporting. For these teams, they may struggle to streamline IT infrastructure incident management and response. Comparatively, an NOC team that leverages incident management and alert escalation software with enterprise reporting can monitor KPIs and implement meaningful improvements without delay.
Incident management and alert escalation software with enterprise reporting empowers NOC teams with analytics, dashboards and data export capabilities. The software enables NOC teams to use charts, graphs and other visualizations to understand team activities. Then, NOC teams can analyze data and discover innovative ways to become more productive and efficient.
4. Timely, Relevant and In-Depth Alerting
If an IT infrastructure incident happens, NOC teams are tasked with resolving this incident and ensuring it does not recur. Yet NOC team notifications may have far-flung effects on incident management and resolution. To understand why, just consider what might happen if a NOC team fails to provide its key stakeholders with timely, relevant and in-depth incident alerts.
In the aforementioned example, NOC team members may receive notifications that merely show that an IT infrastructure incident happened. If no other details are available, NOC team members probably won’t know how to properly respond to an IT infrastructure incident. Instead, these team members will need to reach out for additional details – something that may prolong incident management and resolution.
When it comes to IT infrastructure incidents, it pays to send and receive rich notifications. Incident management and alert escalation software guarantees NOC team members can utilize extensive notifications to analyze a wide range of incident details. These notifications can lead to faster and more effective incident management and resolution, as well as help NOC teams reduce the time and resources they need to mitigate IT infrastructure incidents.
There is no telling when and where an IT infrastructure incident may occur. Thus, NOC teams must prepare for the worst-case scenarios, and failure to do so may cause an organization to suffer brand reputation damage, revenue loss and other immediate and long-lasting problems.
Thankfully, NOC teams can leverage incident management and alert escalation software with the aforementioned capabilities to improve their overall performance. If NOC teams deploy this software, they can take the first step to become high-performing contributors within their respective organizations.