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Network operations managers work in information technology departments and are responsible for keeping networks running reliably. They work with local area networks, which link computers in a single building, and wide area networks, which link buildings together so information can flow between locations. These managers establish practices for monitoring a network, along with performance metrics and service levels that meet the business's needs. According to Robert Half Technology, network managers earned between $82,750 and $114,500 in 2012.
The network operations manager introduces applications to create a map of the entire network and to diagram the hardware used in the topology of the design. Network management applications provide status information that show the health of the network and events such as outages or other problems. The network manager’s team uses this technology as part of an operations center to monitor and manage network services around the clock.
The network operations manager reviews vendor services and determines the best fit for her company’s network services needs. She must evaluate each vendor’s capability based on current company networks and locations, and projected requirements later. When a vendor is selected, the network operations manager negotiates the service level agreements required to maintain network integrity. She then manages the vendors' services.
Network operations teams are made up of engineers and technical administrators. As would any department manager, the network operations manager must work with the human resources department to recruit new employees and to assess and develop current employees. She sees to it that each new employee is successfully brought on board to understand company and department processes. For existing employees, she helps to develop career and training plans that can keep departmental expertise in line with evolving technologies.
Understanding Business Needs
An important part of the network manager’s job is serving as a liaison between information technologies and business colleagues. This collaboration allows the manager to understand service requirements and to design performance metrics that reflect the needs of the company. When performance metrics show that the network is under performing, the network operations manager is responsible for taking action to make sure her team continues to meet the demands of all of the company's user.
A careers content writer, Debra Kraft is a former English teacher whose 25-plus year corporate career includes training and mentoring. She holds a senior management position with a global automotive supplier and is a senior member of the American Society for Quality. Her areas of expertise include quality auditing, corporate compliance, Lean, ERP and IT business analysis.