How to Build a Networking Solutions Strategy
Networking Solutions Topics
Identify Your Network Needs Continued
- What systems does your business need to function? Typically, this includes communications, project and task management programs, customer databases and credit card processing required for your business to operate.
- What systems does your business not need to function? Non-critical applications might include a random file server on your network, which you might not want to lose, but won’t impede your ability to operate.
Use Network Assessment Tools
Using network monitoring and assessment tools, TPx can identify existing parameters and characteristics of your business network and present options to optimize it for security and redundancy.
TPx offers a Cyber Threat Assessment Program (CTAP), a free network assessment that doesn’t affect the network and simply observes and audits for possible problems concerning both network traffic and security. After the evaluation is complete, TPx takes the information and makes recommendations for how to resolve any issues.
For example, TPx might discover that a significant portion of your bandwidth is being used by employees who are streaming video services. In response, you could buy more bandwidth to handle streaming traffic, or limit, throttle or block it altogether.
Problems that may be uncovered could include mundane issues like excessive streaming traffic or more severe concerns like a botnet that presents a security threat.
Plan for the Future
To create an optimal network strategy, plan for the future by building in scalability. Build a network that will serve your needs two years down the road to prevent your business from quickly exceeding the capacity and capabilities of your WAN infrastructure.
To design a network built for the future, your team, preferably with the aid of an experienced MSP, should consider:
- Sizing WAN infrastructure properly beyond current needs
- Acquiring a new switch with higher capacity
- Incorporating Wi-Fi 6 or other next-generation Wi-Fi technology that has greater capacity so more devices can access the business Wi-Fi connection at once
Additionally, choose a network services provider with scalable technologies and the infrastructure (i.e., people and systems) to manage the network effectively and keep tabs on developments in network technology that can make your business more productive.
Case in point: SD-WAN wasn’t on the radar six years ago; now, it’s a standardized solution for most networks. The average IT staff doesn’t have the bandwidth or expertise to keep up with trends in the marketplace, whereas a large managed IT services provider like TPx is tapped into industry resources to stay on the pulse of emerging tech.
Your IT team has opted into a 24/7 on-call gig and may need to put out fires at odd hours, including overnight and on the weekends. But even they have boundaries. If members of your IT team need to be giving up nights and weekends to solve issues, they may burn out and leave. With in-demand skills, your hard-to-source engineers will simply move on. This turnover is commonplace and can cripple your company’s operations. An MSP can alleviate the pressure on your IT specialists and give your team a better work-life balance.
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