Why Network Infrastructure Can’t Be an Afterthought for Your Organization
You’ve assessed your IT needs and goals developed a strategy, and are ready to act on that strategy.
Your first step should be to set up and/or optimize your network infrastructure.
Modern business relies on an interconnected network of systems to remain operational. Network infrastructure is the backbone of modern business, and ensures smooth, seamless business operations and transactions.
And yet, despite this importance, it’s often difficult to articulate the need for reliable, optimized infrastructure.
It’s certainly not the easiest process, either. Taking the time to address each individual component, and how it fits into a broader picture, is an exhaustive, extensive process that can’t be skipped.
Simply put, it’s worth the investment.
For some, this can be daunting. The good news is that using the right technologies and approach initially offers significant savings in the future.
But where do you start?
Defining Network Infrastructure
Let’s begin with the basics:
Network infrastructure is a term that can be hard to define Generally, you’re more likely to hear discussion of network infrastructure in the context of IT for enterprise.
The network is analogous to the connective tissue and nervous system of an enterprise’s systems, processes, applications, and services. It includes both hardware and software. In essence, network infrastructure ensures continuous connectivity, communications, operations, and management with special consideration for the end user.
In layman’s terms, network infrastructure is the sum of an organization’s IT resources and how they work together. And therein lies the challenge.
Developing an Infrastructure to Support Your Goals
We’ve discussed the importance of having a solid, strategic IT plan in the past and how these plans can help your organization achieve its business goals.
The process of determining your IT goals will, in large part, determine the specifics of your network infrastructure. This is, after all, the basis from which your various IT systems will operate and interact.
At the same time, you will be delving deeper technically when planning and building a network infrastructure. As a result, it’s important to consider a variety of factors:
- What are your requirements? What you need depends on and is determined by a variety of factors, including availability, capacity, and various site-specific requirements.
- How will you meet those requirements? Specific components and technologies need to be considered.
- What are your end goals? Who will use this network? Building structures that account for your enterprise’s unique situation can help you zero in on features that will or won’t work for your organization.
During the development process, ask yourself, “Where are we going?”
Your answers to this question will help you develop a suitable framework and plan.
H3: Key Benefits for Business
Let’s consider that the network infrastructure is the backbone of your business.
All aspects of an organization need to remain in communication for continued operations. Not only is this necessary for your internal processes, your customers expect it.
For example, consider an internet outage at company headquarters. Your network might not be able to access internet-based services or applications, but you can maintain continuous communication internally and keep standard processes running while your IT department works to restore its external connections.
However, even on a more basic level, this network ensures streamlined communications between various aspects of a business.
Inventory, scheduling, customer service, internal support, payroll… nearly every department and aspect of business benefits from a fully optimized network infrastructure.
A good network infrastructure can also:
- Improve efficiency and share resources: As outlined above, a shared network can ensure that all aspects of an organization are able to access the resources necessary to ensure continued operations.
- Reduced complexity: Unifying and streamlining your systems makes it easier for disparate components to interact and operate together effectively.
- Effective, simplified administration: An effective network infrastructure simplifies (or outright automates) common, time-consuming tasks, and offers greater accessibility and operations for the end user.
- Reduce energy costs and consumption: Some estimates indicate that 2% of global carbon emissions are as a result of IT. Networking technologies can give an organization greater control and insight into their energy costs, allowing them to switch off systems as needed to help reduce consumption.
We’ve touched on several major impacts and benefits that developing a fully networked infrastructure can offer, but as we’ve mentioned before, this process is not without its challenges.
Regardless of the purpose or use of your network, it must operate as a platform for all of your organization’s applications and functions. This means developing an infrastructure that can operate as a single entity for the IT administrators in your organization while still offering granular control on a smaller scale.
Seek out the technologies that have been specifically designed to meet your organization’s needs. While they might seem completely at odds with your existing systems, effective integration can help reduce any complications and integrate all systems effectively.
Optimizing your network infrastructure involves a substantial effort, but it’s not without value.
Developing a set of clear IT-related policies and a culture to support them can help your organization immensely, whether it’s staff education about IT practices and security or working with a team of IT professionals to ensure that you get a finished product that will support both your current objectives and future goals.
Your business can’t afford to miss out on the potential offered by integrating and prioritizing a comprehensive and custom-made network infrastructure.