How can you be certain that your business class network has enough resources to adequately serve the needs of your customers and employees?
When you’re building a business or looking to expand, you must carefully select a network technology path and trust that you’ve made the right decision. You’ll be tasked with questions such as:
- Should I use on-premises or hosted Voice over IP (VoIP) services?
- How will I record my employee’s phone calls?
- How can I block employees from surfing the web at work?
- Is it possible to securely store business data?
- How will I know if I have enough bandwidth for my office?
Unless you have an extensive background in IT, many of the preceding questions can be commonly overlooked when small businesses build out their first network. To prevent an “Oh snap” moment, it is important to:
Plan On Paper and Test
Start by mapping out the core responsibilities of your employee’s daily job functions, then chart their workflows against the network services that they will most commonly use.
Write down the network services that are needed for your business and research the best possible options for your budget. Once you’ve made a determination, simply start small and simple and build the easiest solutions first. This allows you to gradually scale up your testing without getting in over your head. One of the most common mistakes made by newbie network engineers is that they try to do too many things at once. Simple is better, for both you and your end users. (Not sure how to do all of this? Check out our Network Assessment.)
Audits & Updates
Perhaps your organization operates in a space that requires your business to get regular technology audits. One of the easiest ways to satisfy many common audit requirements is to regularly update your systems and use centralized updating tools that provide reports for audit purposes.
Maybe your business isn’t required to get audits; to ensure the safety and security of your clients data, many organizations bring in outside teams to help perform penetration testing and internal vulnerability scans. Think of it as getting a 2nd opinion on your network security. One of the best business network decisions you can make is to get an external review for your business network security policies.
A Well Thought Out Approach to Network Security
When you build out a business class network, your organization must have a well thought out plan for network security already in place. It’s best to document your plans for securing your network before you begin building it. In your preliminary discussions about network security, think about the most vulnerable points of attack for your business.
By being proactive instead of reactive, your business can smoothly build or extend its existing infrastructure without having to worry about overlooked security holes after the network is already in place. If you’re unable to build your own network security plan, seek out a trusted vendor to help provide you with the best practices for your line of business.
Uniformity and Familiarity
Businesses should always build a system and thoroughly document the systems they use the day they begin using them.
Try to stay with one brand of network hardware, as this will keep you from having to endure a learning curve when adapting new hardware into your environment. When you stay within a specific hardware ecosystem, your business may gain advantages such as bulk discounts, dedicated support, and training opportunities from that vendor.
Find vendors that have adequate documentation available on their website and give bonus points to vendors that have an active online community of users who are experts with the specific brand of hardware.
It’s easier to stay in the loop with one vendor than it is multiple, therefore you will likely become familiar with your chosen vendor’s “way of doing things” which always makes troubleshooting easier and more predictable down the road.
If your Greenville, SC or Atlanta, GA area business is in need of a professional consultation concerning your business class network, contact Wolf Technology Group today at (833) 482-6435 or fill out our form in order to get a quote for your organization’s networking needs.
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