The reliability, performance, and security offered by a healthy network can empower your business to reach its maximum potential. On the other hand, a poorly performing network will hinder your business by impairing the ability to use your technology productively and efficiently.
What is a network assessment?
Just like it would be foolish to build a home without a blueprint, it’s a bad idea to operate your business without a clear picture of what’s going on inside your network. Which is exactly what a network assessment is able to do. A network assessment will include a comprehensive analysis, topology diagrams, and list of all the equipment located in your network to give you a complete view of your network infrastructure. Having documentation of your network not only makes maintaining, and upgrading your network much simpler but also provides a map to determine how your network contributes to your business’s core offering. Together these benefits will reduce operating costs, and provide better value of your existing infrastructure towards business goals.
What are the signs your business needs a network assessment?
Your Business is Planning to Upgrade, Expand, or Introduce New Critical Software
If your business is planning on upgrading to the newest software or expanding your network, getting a baseline of how your network is working should be step one. Once you understand this, you will be able to determine how and where the ‘new’ equipment or software will be placed in terms of the network architecture and how it will affect the network as a whole. Knowing the status of your infrastructure and resolving any issues prior to upgrading or expanding will help prevent any growing pains and allow for a smooth transition.
Complaints about Slow Performance and Issues
Are your users constantly complaining about problems with slow applications or internet speeds? With today’s internet speeds averaging around 1 - 10gig, it is more likely that your slow connects are related to the design and configuration of your network infrastructure rather than not enough bandwidth. Many times it comes down to inefficient connections between the servers and your users that are the cause of slow downs, other times it can be worse such as malware. A network assessment can help detect the root of the problem so that changes can be made to resolve it.
Your IT Team Does Not Have Documentation (or it's Outdated)
This is a common scenario, IT teams get caught up in the day-to-day operations, and ad hoc “projects” adding new software and equipment here and there, and things continue to work fine without taking the time to update the documentation or, worse there is none. The problems start when finally that one new addition breaks the network, an employee leaves the company who has the login and network information “all in their head”, or something has happened where you need to restore a backup. If there is no documentation these problems become serious issues and fast.
Your IT Team is Constantly Dealing with Service and Availability Issues
A result of the two points above. If your IT team always seems to be reacting to the new problems of the day, it is likely that your business is suffering from a poorly designed network infrastructure and outdated or nonexistent documentation which both compound to create recurring issues for users.
Your Business Is Being Audited
Companies in the retail, e-commerce, financial, healthcare, and even some in manufacturing may have regulations regarding how customer data is stored, secured and accessed. A network assessment will be required to show compliance with these data storage regulations if you are ever audited. Additionally, if your company is looking to sell, a network assessment will also be needed to pass along to the new ‘owners’ and their IT staff as well.
Do any of these examples resonate with you and your business situation?
If you are experiencing any of these situations, it is a good indication that a network assessment should be done in order to resolve these issues. The most useful network assessments come from partnering with a professional IT services firm. An unbiased, outside perspective can provide great value and insight to the workings of your network, and when that perspective comes from a knowledgeable, expert professional you are sure to receive an assessment that is tailored to your business needs and addresses your problems.
A professional network assessment will:
Provide an accurate understanding of your network’s existing capabilities.
Precisely identify sources of any interference, bottlenecks, and congestion.
Identify flaws in network design and provide recommended solutions.
Identify security risks stemming from configurations, hardware or software
Evaluate life expectancies of hardware to catch out of date hardware that could be slowing your network and weakening your security.
Assess types of connections used, and provide more efficient options.
Establish infrastructure thresholds that provide notifications of problems, complications, or breaches.
Help you intimately understand and manage your inventory.
Provide an action plan and pathway for your IT services that aligns with your business goals for growth.
Once your professional network assessment is completed, you will be provided a thorough, comprehensive documentation of all findings. This document will prepare you to make informed decisions regarding your budget and network administration along with recommendations for initiatives, updates, and upgrades.
How to get a Network Assessment
At Netmon Services we take the relationship between your business productivity and your IT seriously. A network assessment is one of the first steps we take in bringing on new clients ensure that our relationship is built on the proper foundation of knowledge and any problems can be addressed before new initiatives are introduced.
We can also perform a network assessment as part of a stand-alone consultative service as well.
During our network assessment process, we investigate to see that your IT network is configured for security, and maximum performance and will give written documentation of our findings and recommendations for improvements. We can also work with you and your IT team to take all necessary steps to help facilitate a smooth transition to implement recommendations.