Computer networks are dynamic. Some even say they are “living” because they must constantly change and adapt. If you have responsibility for your company’s network, you know well how difficult it can be to decide when to upgrade. Here are five signs it’s time to invest:
- Cloud applications and services – Is your company using more cloud-based applications? SalesForce was an early pioneer in the idea of a full SaaS offered mission critical tool. Since then other critical tools have become SaaS mainstream, including Office365 and Workday, among many others. If your company depends more and more on the cloud, make sure your network can support it before day-to-day tasks grow cumbersome on a network not optimized to handle them.
- Real-time data from many sources – Does your business depend on real-time data? Those who navigate a vehicle for a living (cars, trucks, ships, planes, trains) all depend on real-time data to be successful and safe. More and more, Sales, Operations and Marketing people also require real-time data to serve clients, meet customer needs and meet changing market requirements. Can your network keep up with the peaks and valleys of real-time traffic?
- Anytime, anywhere connectivity – When airline Wi-Fi was first introduced, people scoffed at paying $30 for in-air access. Now, customers demand Wi-Fi everywhere – in the air, in restaurants, hotels, stores and offices – not just for customers but employees, too. Is your network robust enough to manage guest and employee access? If not, it may be time review your network.
- Supplier and partner integration – Henry Ford said that specialization was the key to success. But that implied communication between the specialized components so that all the pieces came together as needed. In today’s world, that kind of communication requires a network that is secure, reliable and accessible. As your company integrates more and more with external vendors, your network needs to keep pace.
- Burgeoning data sources – Data flows are growing into rivers and lakes of data that today’s IT departments need to manage and secure. Of course, data that is inaccessible may as well not exist. As companies deal with data from more and more sources – mobile devices and IoT to name just two – the network has to keep the information accessible. Does yours?