Manager's Guide

Remote infrastructure management guide for managers

Like cloud computing, remote management of IT infrastructure is a growing trend with Indian companies. A cost effective and popular outsourcing option, remote infrastructure management (RIM) allows organizations

Continue Reading This Article

Enjoy this article as well as all of our content, including E-Guides, news, tips and more.

to focus on core business functions.


Download the PDF version of Managers’ Guide to Remote Infrastructure Management for internal training, presentations, and future reference.


 

Featured in this Managers’ Guide:

What is remote infrastructure management 

Remote infrastructure management is an outsourcing model wherein the management of a company’s workstations, servers, storage, IT security devices, network devices and databases is performed by a third party. These services enable organizations to delegate technological requirements and responsibilities to a third party and concentrate on core business. Remote infrastructure management allows the organization to meet growing technological requirements without inflating its IT spending budget.

Top trends in RIM services 

There have been a few notable developments in the type of services offered by remote infrastructure management providers. Earlier, businesses looking for remote IT infrastructure management had to engage with multiple product vendors and service providers to avail of rendered services. With remote infrastructure management, this is not the case anymore. RIM service providers have also evolved to provide different types of customized IT solutions.

As an SMB scales up, it may feel the need to optimally upgrade its IT infrastructure. Remote infrastructure management can provide it with the means to minimize costs, and concentrate more on core business issues. An important trend in India is that the presence of many remote infrastructure management service providers ensures a ready pool of technical expertise.

Pros and cons of RIM services 

Pros:

  • Organizations can get tailor-made services pertaining to its requirements, and decide what it needs to outsource.
  • The cost of outsourcing maintenance to a remote infrastructure management service provider is relatively lower than that of keeping a separate IT department.
  • Remote infrastructure management vendors usually provide 24/7 technical support along with a dedicated team for each account.
  • RIM service providers often carry out infrastructure analysis as part of their services. This helps in identification and elimination of issues in the organization’s current infrastructure, thereby improving performance.
  • Optimization through patch management and upgrades.
  • System availability and uptime improvements due to lack of dependency on internal resources. Remote infrastructure management service providers have tie-ups with multiple service providers. This helps them ensure network redundancy and constant server uptime.
  • RIM also arms businesses with access to the latest technologies.

Cons:

  • The customized approach may cause a lack of planning for certain contingencies and situations. For example, a small business may choose a customized plan that suits its immediate and perceived needs. In this process, it may overlook important contingency situations that may arise in the future. There should be clauses for the inclusion of such contingencies.
  • If an organization goes in for complete remote infrastructure management, its software requirements will also be taken care of by the provider. It might result in a lag in the development of new software to aid its business needs. This can lead to a drop in business-based innovation and ideation--at least with regard to such vertical specific, need-based software.
  • The service level agreement (SLA) should be formulated with specific clauses that ensure the organization’s infrastructure is kept up to date. The contract should also ensure routine upgrades as well as audits.
  • In remote infrastructure management (specifically when dealing with storage and database management), it’s extremely necessary to formulate SLAs that safeguard the organization’s security and privacy.

Evaluating RIM services: Key considerations  

  • The major aspects to consider when dealing with remote infrastructure management service providers are your organization’s needs. Each provider offers a set of services specific to different clients. Therefore, your business has to determine its needs and conduct a thorough cost benefit analysis.
  • Remote infrastructure management relies heavily on network connectivity and communication between the client and provider. Therefore, it is wise to choose a provider that immediately addresses these needs.

Challenges to watch out for  

  • The organizational policy needs to be kept in mind while opting for remote infrastructure management. The remote infrastructure management service provider needs to align itself with the organization’s core business goals.
  • Finding the right vendor is another challenge often faced by businesses. It’s critical to evaluate the suitability of a single vendor or multi-vendor system.
  • It’s advisable to check the vendor’s track record in working with customers from the same vertical. Aspects such as area of expertise, support, reputation, and dedicated manpower should be looked at.

Top vendors and their offerings  

SRN Vendor Details of remote infrastructure management services offered
1 Glodyne Technoserve Glodyne’s RIM services include problem identification and resolution, remote monitoring, remote service desk covering service request tracking, problem ticket management, as well as change request management.
2 HCL Technologies HCL’s remote infrastructure management services are offered through its operations management center in India. These services come with HCL’s Advanced Security Technologies service, and 24/7 support which includes risk mitigation, consolidation, and support.
3 Microland Microland offers remote infrastructure management services for servers, database, storage, backup and archival, network management, managed communications, security device management, and messaging.
4 Patni Patni’s remote infrastructure management services include 24x7 monitoring, problem identification and resolution. The solution also automatically dispatches on-site service providers to address high priority issues.
5 Wipro Wipro’s RIM service portfolio covers aspects including 24x7 infrastructure management, monitoring services, administration, diagnostics, reporting, vendor co-ordination, and trend-based consulting. The services are offered from its NOCs located in Bangalore, California, Chennai, Hyderabad, London, and Pune.
A few of other major remote infrastructure management service providers in India include Allied Digital Services, Mindtree, Omnitech, and Tata Consultancy Services.

 

Further reading 

Definition from Whatis.com: What is infrastructure management?

News: Honda Motor’s IT projects to include Oracle Apps, RIMS

Case Study: Remote infrastructure management reduces opex by 60% at Globus

News: Infrastructure management moves offshore

Tip: Remote management dos and don’ts

Tip: Remote management threatens infrastructure as a service security

Tip: Handling weaknesses in remote server management

This was first published in March 2011