Whether you're a business selling tangible products, offering some type of service, or even a small taxi base, without having your own private network running your businesses would be almost impossible. As we enter into the Information Age, the options and capabilities a network can provide are endless.
But what does the average business owner know about their network? Not a lot if truth be told, and why would they? They only need to use the network, they don’t need to how it works, right? Wrong. Having a basic understanding of how networks operate and recognising common problems businesses face with their networks, can help businesses avoid the problems themselves.
Below are the 4 common network issues most businesses face and the effect it can have on their business.
The biggest common networking problem that mostly goes unnoticed for businesses is security. Only when it’s too late does one acknowledge the problem and by then the damage is already done. As a general rule of thumb, the bigger the network the more vulnerable and more susceptible it is to attack. More software, hardware and user logins increases the number options an intruder can use to get inside a network.
The effect it can have on a business: Total devastation. If your business has sensitive data of clients, banking details, order reports or financial documents they can all be deleted or tampered with. Not only does a breach of your network affect your business financially, but it can totally ruin your brand image and trustworthiness in the eyes of your customers.
This time last year your network was running faster than Usain Bolt in the 100 meters, but today sending documents via royal mail is faster than using your local intranet service, why? This is usually due to a number of things, including devices becoming clogged up with data, all around network performance issues, lack of hardware maintenance and so on. Increased work output or more employees using the network without upgrading or adding additional hardware can have a huge knock on effect on overall network performance.
The effect it can have on a business: A dramatic drop in work productivity. The slower your network runs the less work your employees can do. For example, if the load time of an average file of 5MB takes 3 minutes longer to load than it should, you have lost 3 minutes of work productivity. It may not sound like a lot, but if you multiple that by the number of employees you have, how often they use the network and how many days they work, it becomes a substantial amount of time. As the saying goes, time is money.
Do you have a redundancy power source, mirrored servers, backup routers or a second firewall if any of the following fail? If any part of your network malfunctions, it’s pivotal to have a plan B in place so everything can keep on running smoothly. Many business owners today opt to spend as little as possible on their networks which usually means there is no plan B.
The effect it can have on a business: Loss of data, work productivity and money. For example, let’s assume an Internet ecommerce store does a daily backup each evening at 7pm when their staff go home. After entering in the sales orders of customers throughout the day, the main server malfunctions causing all sales for that day to be lost. There’s no redundancy in place to switch over to another sever, and the data hasn’t been backed up for the day.
Having a redundancy strategy within your network is extremely important and costs a lot less to implement than you may think. You may have to spend a few hundred pounds on equipment, but it will save you thousands in the future.
Who knows where your business will be in one, five or ten years from now. Perhaps you will have quadrupled in size and increased your sales by as much as 600%. This will usually mean an increased number of staff and a bigger network. Networks should be designed to provide full flexibility in mind for future growth, with newly implemented network being adequate for at least 3-5 years of growth without needing much modification.
Since most businesses owners don’t understand the best practices to utilise when setting up a network, most tend to ignore this and instead opt for cheaper networks that are less flexible and limited in capabilities.
The effect it can have on a business: Time and money. Creating a network is time consuming and costly, but doing it twice is a huge waste of time and money. But this is what many businesses today are doing because they setup their networks incorrectly the first time. Having a well designed network that can expand along with a business is more a cost-effective approach in the long run, rather than going with a cheaper less robust system. A common goal for most businesses is to improve on the year before, this means greater output and stress on their network. As a business grows bigger and bigger, so should the network.
These are 4 extremely common network issues thousands of businesses face every year, what’s worse is they are easily avoidable. Circle IT are an industry leader in providing businesses of all sizes with high quality IT services that will help keep their costs low and their performance high.
If you would like to know more about our services or how we can help you today, contact us