Spain, a country of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises
According to the statistics of the Central Companies Directory (CCD), Spain counts as of August 31, 2017 with 4,281 large companies, representing 0.1% of the overall business. 99.9% are self-employed workers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), at equal rates.
We can clearly state that Spain is a country sustained thanks to the activity of small businessmen, who thanks to their efforts articulate the economic activity of the country. It is important, therefore, to support self-employed and companies, making them more competitive in the global market.
Digitalization and the problems arising in SMEs
In the age of digitization, more and more devices are connected every day to the Internet. According to the latest study by the company Gartner, this year will end with more than 8'000 million devices connected worldwide. By 2020, the number of connected "things" is expected to reach 20 billion. These figures will bring the total expenditure on terminals and services to two trillion dollars in 2017.
On the other hand, not only elements of everyday life, or "typical" network elements (servers, switches, routers, etc.) will be connected to the Internet, but also factories, machinery, production facilities or sensor networks in which can be described with the term of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) or Industry 4.0.
Regardless of the benefits of digitalization for companies, the difficulty lies in having all these elements under control in a simple and efficient way, and without a great investment of time and money.
Example case: "the one-man band"
When we talk about the IT department of a SME, we are talking about a single responsible (luckily, somebody else) who has to "fight" every day with lots of incidents, ADSL cuts, failures in communication with the central server, systems overload, internal network speed and many more. Given this panorama (inefficient systems or devices, disgruntled users, etc.), it is normal for the system manager to be called as a one-man band, since he holds the responsibility of having the company performing its activity without incidents, but unfortunately he is not capable to anticipate all these incidents.
Solutions that raises the current industry
Fortunately for the one-man band, there are many solutions offered by the current market and that can be found in the network nowadays. Monitoring tools represent an advantage over the control of the network and communications systems as they provide the support and tools that the one-man band needs to carry out his work in anticipation of problems and correct management of the network, not only "putting out fires" when they arise.
The outsourcing of this type of services is a very attractive and economically viable solution for many SMEs since they put in the hands of experts the control over the monitoring of network elements at a low cost, providing the information that the one-man band really needs from a single central platform for managing and displaying data, alarms and incidents.
Despite their low cost, monitoring systems provide a lot of information that was not previously available. This facilitates the work of the management person, who does not have time to worry or understand how the system works, but simply concentrates on the activities that add value to the company.
Another advantage is the ability of monitoring systems to identify network faults and to detect equipment that aren´t adequately sized to the functionality they must meet. This is great news for companies when deciding which equipment to renovate or replace, what specifications they should meet, or simply to know that an equipment is over- or under sized with regard to the function it should fulfil. The price of the shopping list is, in this way, much more accurate.
Solutions in the cloud, the present
The outsourcing of cloud monitoring services has a number of advantages over those performed on-premise. With cloud monitoring it is no longer necessary to have a physical server in the company that needs to be managed; everything is managed from the cloud. In this way, the system manager is able to restart a server in the CPD while attending an incident with a printer in the office.
Cloud monitoring systems also allow remote automatic updates without the need of unnecessary displacements to update the monitoring structure; this also affects the cost of the service.
In short, the outsourcing of monitoring services is a key activity for SMEs in Spain. Thanks to it, companies save a lot of time and money simply by developing activities that bring added value, leaving the "cumbersome" part in the hands of specialists in the field.