Just like your business, your network upgrade needs a plan

Just like your business, your network upgrade needs a plan
April 18, 2016  |  BY

The performance of your business depends on the performance of your network. And as you grow, it’s a must to accommodate the network for more employees, more usage, more data, more interactions and hopefully more transactions.

But everything can go south in a heartbeat if you don’t have enough bandwidth to handle new network demands. How do you know when you’ll need more capacity? Since no one is a soothsayer, it’s impossible to predict. That’s why it’s time to plan ahead.

Check bandwidth
When it comes to network performance, bandwidth is the name of the game. Whether it’s a wired network, wireless network or both, look into all of your performance-enhancing options and determine the bandwidth costs and benefits of each one.

Companies use CRM and ERP tools for analytics, allowing them to translate data into actions like better targeting and lead generation. If you have this function performed by third-party servers, you may not have the bandwidth you require.

Like video and VoIP tools? They’re great, but to reap the maximum benefits the network has to be able to handle all of that rich, fast-moving data.

What about the mobile devices deployed throughout the company? Since these connect to the network, they can be draining bandwidth as well.

Last, look at any cloud computing you may use. Remember that’s its a shared service where an enormous amount of data goes across the network. Without the right size bandwidth, performance will be really slow, or even slow to a halt.

Consider the infrastructure
Your plan also needs to include how you might upgrade the infrastructure. What’s the average data transfer rate? Use that number to determine how bandwidth can accommodate expected demands and unforeseen requirements. If there’s not enough bandwidth left over, you might not be able to cover sudden traffic spikes.

Also perform simulations to assess worst-case scenario possibilities, which might be a slowdown, data loss or service failure. All of these factors should inform your decision about potential bandwidth requirements.

Assess network traffic
One potential issue of increasing bandwidth is having too much capacity during non-peak times. You end up buying much more than you need. Accordingly, consider an on-demand plan, where you can acquire more bandwidth when required.

Overall, consider the volume of bandwidth your employees need to serve customers and handle data requests. Analyze the types of traffic that cross your network such as cloud apps and packets data. Like all of your technology decisions, planning ahead for a network upgrade makes sense for your employees, your customers, and the health of your business.