Computer networks today have grown up. They may not get all the glamorous headlines that the Cloud, IoT or Virtual Reality grab today, but it’s hard to argue the fact that today’s network is more important to an organization’s success than ever before. A robust network that addresses security, performance and reliability enables better information sharing, more collaboration, improved productivity and reduces risks. As more devices connect and the need for local and cloud applications and secure data access expand, a well-architected and managed network is a competitive advantage.
Here are the top 4 reasons why the network is more important than ever:
1. Better Information Sharing
The data we access and the applications we use on our devices are hosted on a global scale. We have come to expect that we will have instant access from anywhere on any device. The typical user in an organization just expects their technology to work, without realizing that it takes a robust network to meet today’s demands. The amount of data per user is continually expanding, along with the need to securely share it and in many cases meet compliance requirements. This is where a properly architected and managed network becomes essential.
2. More Collaboration
As bandwidth continues to increase, along with the growth of the Cloud, real-time collaboration is becoming standard. Products like Microsoft Teams, Slack and Apple iWork all are growing in popularity as tools that are maximizing productivity within organizations. These tools function most effectively in a high-performance network.
3. Improved Productivity
Gone are the days when getting disconnected from the Internet was just an annoyance. Today, it is extremely damaging and costly to businesses when they lose the ability to communicate and access their data and applications. The majority of organizations today have redundancy to the Internet as well as a LAN designed with little to no single point of failures.
4. Reduced Risk
A secure network is paramount for protecting data and users. The multi-tiered approach to security, educating users, and monitoring the network is no longer optional items. Ransomware, viruses, and phishing are just a handful of ways that your data and organization can be compromised. A network designed from the ground up with security as the priority can help to significantly reduce the likelihood of an organization becoming a victim.
In the past, a network was often seen as a “set-and-forget” part of the IT environment. Once the switches, router, and firewall were configured, they didn’t require much oversight. This is no longer the case as users now expect to be able to connect from any device, at any location, at any time. Of course, this access needs to happen securely and at a level of performance that doesn’t slow down the user. In today’s organization, if the network has a hiccup or goes down, the yelling starts quickly and productivity comes to a stop!
Cloud adoption and device proliferation along with newer technology trends such as IoT and home/office automation are driving the requirements for a better network. Our clients are revisiting their network architecture, looking for areas to improve reliability, security and overall user interaction. We work with many schools and each one has either recently re-architected or is in the process of rebuilding their networks to increase capacity and performance. The majority of our business clients are doing the same.