Your business network environment is a crucial element of keeping everyone at your company connected, particularly when many of your employees are working from home. As an IT professional or CTO, knowing how to make decisions that will keep your company's network environment operating smoothly is a must. Working with an outside managed IT provider can also help your business's tech experts stay in the loop about the latest trends within the industry.
Aspects to Consider When Designing Your Network Environment
Although the process can seem overwhelming, taking some time to make a plan before getting started on designing your network environment can help make your work easier. Here are six of the most important things to know before creating a new business network environment or redesigning your current one to better meet the needs of your business.
Analyze Your Current Network Environment
If you are redesigning your current network environment instead of creating a new one from scratch, analyzing the pros and cons of your network environment is an important first step to ensure that you get the most out of the work you put into improving it. Ask yourself what is currently working or not working, as well as what is most important for your employees. Now is the time to determine what is missing in your current network environment, such as the latest cybersecurity, remote flexibility, or other programs, and develop a plan for integrating them into your redesigned network environment.
Consider Your Remote Employees
Considering the technological and cybersecurity needs of your remote employees is more important in 2020 than it has ever been. What was originally intended to be a few weeks of working from home has stretched into several months, and there is no end in sight for many businesses. Some companies have even announced decisions to allow employees in certain positions to choose to work from home permanently, which is likely to lead to a drastic shift in the IT needs of these companies.
If your business is considering making a permanent shift to remote, or you’d like the option to do so in the future, you will need to make sure that the computers and other devices you provide for your employees are able to reliably support any programs they need at a reasonable speed and that your remote employees have adequate access to IT services online and over the phone. Furthermore, ensuring that remote employees have the cybersecurity they need while working remotely can save them, and the company, from disastrous data breaches and unnecessary downtime.
Who Is Responsible for Managing Your IT?
Determining who is responsible for managing your business's IT needs ensures that employees of every level and position know who to contact if they have tech issues. Although many IT departments consist of an internal team, your company may also choose to work with a managed IT provider to supply more in-depth services that are available outside of regular business hours, or outside the scope of your current IT team. No matter what type of IT solution you are using, making sure that everyone knows who is responsible for managing it helps to cut down on wasted time when trying to solve problems.
How Can Your Network Environment Support Your Business Goals?
Identifying your goals for your business helps you ensure that your network environment can adequately meet the technological needs that may arise. The capabilities of new computers, programs, and other products are growing quickly, and your goals may also be evolving rapidly. If things are changing within your company, making sure that your IT setup is agile and adjustable is a must.
Know What Cybersecurity Risks You Are Facing
Most large and small businesses rely on technology far more than even a decade ago, and with this comes an increased vulnerability to cyberattacks, data breaches, and other cybersecurity risks. Analyzing the specific threats that businesses within your industry are most likely to face and researching the most cutting-edge cybersecurity programs available can help you prevent losses associated with your online data, instead of having to respond to them later.
It is crucial to keep in mind that the cybersecurity programs your business purchased even a few years ago are unlikely to provide the highest level of protection from modern threats or for modern devices, so it’s to update your cybersecurity measures accordingly. Relying on a managed IT provider can help ensure the security your company and clients needs.
Assess Your Cloud Computing Options
For many modern businesses, cloud computing may make more sense than utilizing a on-prem or local server, particularly if a large percentage of your employees work remotely. Working from home may be convenient for your employees, but it can also make maintaining your network environment more of a hassle. Storing and processing more of your data online can both improve your employees' access to the information they need and increase your IT department's ability to manage network issues and cyber vulnerabilities from anywhere, even if your company's devices are spread out.
Creating the Right Network Environment for Your Business
Although there are many points to consider when creating or improving your business network environment, these six elements touch on the most important aspects of designing one that meets your needs. While many companies can successfully create a strong business network environment by utilizing only an internal IT team, partnering with a managed IT provider is a strategic move that can help you make sure your company is implementing the latest programs and techniques to create the best experience possible for both in-person and remote employees.