Network management is a broad subject, one that encompasses different responsibilities depending on whether the network manager is responsible for an SME business or a multi-national corporation. The simplest definition of network management is the administration and oversight of computer and internet networks in a specified location, whether physical or virtual.
But that doesn’t tell us much about a network manager’s job. Perhaps, it would be better to explain network management by defining the things that network management should accomplish.
1. Network management involves the setting up of computers and network services.
Every business, no matter its size, finds computers and the internet extremely useful. But, not every business owner or employee knows how to get their PC or internet service functioning properly. That’s where network managers come in. They take care of the often complicated set-up process—called “provisioning”—so that business owners can do what they do best.
2. Network management involves repairing and maintaining computers and network services.
Sometimes, computers break down. Sometimes, the internet service stops working for one reason or another. A network manager handles these issues. There are a series of devices involved in any computer network—not just PCs, but routers, modems, phones, even WiFi-enabled printers and scanners. Any one of these devices can be the cause of network connection problems, and a network manager is needed to track down and solve the error.
3. Network management helps keep computer networks secure.
There are an abundance of threats on the internet today, and hackers and identity thieves often target businesses because they collect customer information. A network manager ensures that proper firewalls are in place in order to prevent unauthorized access to the local network. He also makes sure that security software and anti-virus programs are installed and up-to-date on all networked devices.
4. Network management helps keep data safe.
The most important thing that businesses have today is data. The information they own is invaluable, and it is important that it be kept confidential and secure. Network managers put safeguards in place which prevent data from being inadvertently revealed to the public and which keep hackers from stealing customer’s personal information.
5. Network management controls access to the network.
Due to security reasons, everyone involved in a business’s operations should not have complete access to a network’s resources. For example, a vendor does not need access to personally identifiable information on the company’s customers. But, setting up security controls can be a pain for the average user. That’s why network managers are hired to decide who needs to have access to what and when, also called user management.
These are just some of the very important things network management accomplishes.