To say the IT network is mission-critical for business success would be an understatement. That said, today’s IT professionals have a lot to consider when determining a sound network management strategy.
Just think about all the demands around the enterprise network—unified communications (UC), streaming videos, VOIP and social applications for collaboration. Today’s networks function as high-speed pathways to enable enhanced collaboration with partners, customers and employees. In light of increasing “speeds-and-feeds,” looking at ways to optimize the network—and how to manage new and existing networking technologies—makes sense.
When thinking about smarter, faster and better network capabilities, optimization should be top of mind with Canadian IT professionals. Here are four ways to optimize your IT network and get the most out of your network infrastructure:
Improve Security Best Practices
How today’s organizations strategize around protecting data—in an era of BYOD and consumerized technologies—can amount to ongoing IT headaches for network managers. Establishing best practices around network security involves adopting a holistic view; this includes proactive risk assessment and regular review of access and routing rules, asset classifications, and patch management. These malware threats come from all directions—from the perimeter to the desktop, and from mobile to the cloud.
Conduct An IT Audit
Taking a critical look at the IT backbone, including network switches and routers, is a key step in determining if the overall architecture needs to be upgraded. Does the wired network or wireless access need to be improved? Is the organization efficiently using resources through WAN optimization? These are questions that IT decision makers will need the answers to. This includes examining network resources and utilization to determine if newer technologies such as virtualization, 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 Gig-E) backbones and WAN optimizers should be adopted—or whether a managed or hosted service option makes sense from a cost standpoint. This can be a key step in convincing senior managers that network upgrades are critical to operations and can be tied to tangible business value.
Centralize Your Network
The increased use and reliance on the enterprise network has translated into rising administration and management costs. The distributed nature of today’s workforce means that network centralization can be an option for demonstrable business growth. Considering that today’s network and application administrators are under pressure to manage disparate online servers, applications and software updates—often with limited budgets and staff —thinking about centralized network management can be essential to greater efficiency, reliability and cost-effectiveness.
Boost Network Availability and Accessibility
It’s no secret that delivering reliable and always-on network availability for end-users and a mobile workforce has long been the key to success for enterprises. Your network backbone needs to be highly available, redundant and efficient; improving network access and availability involves having a greater understanding of business needs and network capabilities. Having a network management system—and having skilled network managers and administrators who know how to use it effectively—can be key to improved monitoring and greater visibility into the network.
In light of the growing importance of network optimization for business success, Canadian businesses should be looking at all their options to better ensure the hassle-free operation and availability of their enterprise network. And when looking to plan, deploy and operate your network infrastructure, working with a trusted technology product and service provider in some capacity to help optimize the network is a viable option for many Canadian organizations.