Handling Your Growing Network with IT Managed Services

October 31st, 2014 by admin

Eleven colorful network cables arranged like an increasing bar graph

Small and medium-sized business (SMB) computer networks are more of a living project than a one-and-done IT expense. Network-focused IT managed services guides you through the possibilities and challenges presented by changes in personnel and office environments that can squeeze your bandwidth and negatively affect your team’s productivity. Working with a local managed services IT consulting firm facilitates your entire operation by providing experts who will handle the physical setup and configuration to handle your needs today. Moreover, IT managed service providers (MSPS) carry out network expansion procedures on a regular basis, while internal IT considers the job a special project that takes staff away from normal support work.

Any given network can handle only a finite quantity of devices and digital traffic. Consequently, as your business grows, so do your network requirements. Company expansion — i.e., adding new roles and even whole departments — is a good thing, but those new employees are going to use more of your network resources.

IT Managed Services Helps to Manage Device Growth

Network demands grow from adding devices as opposed to people. A new employee inevitably introduces more devices to the network — but existing employees are also using more devices than ever before. In the 90s, everyone had a single desktop (or laptop) computer connected to an Ethernet cable, but Wi-Fi has increased both mobility and flexibility (and devices are shrinking to more portable sizes). A lone wireless hotspot may need to handle traffic from computers, smartphones, and tablets for those employees who wish to participate in company-approved “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policies.

In other words, a network with a capacity for 64 devices will be insufficient for 64 employees.

IT managed services can work proactively with your small business to anticipate growing demands, eliminating the need to respond reactively when the network becomes overloaded. Whether it’s bridging the network with a third Wi-Fi access point or adding an office wing subnet, a partnership between your business and an IT managed services company provides crucial visibility, foreseeing and addressing network growth needs before they cause trouble.

Planning Ahead

Unmanaged networks tend to grow out of momentary necessity instead of a dedicated, overarching plan for handling increasing traffic demand. So it’s no surprise that they are prone to performance, stability, and security issues down the road. An ad hoc approach to expanding your network, like daisy-chaining a new switch or Wi-Fi access point to the existing network to connect more devices within a single room, offers only a temporary fix. And it can backfire down the line when all the devices sharing that connection perform slowly, when one switch failure means no network access for the whole company, or when one virus-infected device contaminates the entire network due to poor confinement.

Alternatively, a carefully designed network allowing for easy expansion prevents the development of these and many similar problems. IT managed services specializes in handling the full lifecycle of your network, from initial design to security administration to hardware and software upgrades, allowing you to focus on what you do best: business.

When it comes to network expansion, preparation is key. IT managed services can not only solve your network problems, it can keep others at bay.

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