For most modern businesses, the IT network is the lifeblood of their entire operation. Yet most businesses are also operating using software, processes, and an overall infrastructure that are not as efficient and as effective as they could be. These lapses in a business’s IT network can end up costing untold amounts of time and money, but, fortunately, there is a solution that both identifies and offers a fix for these problems – a network assessment.
What is a Network Assessment?
A network assessment identifies both the strengths and weaknesses of your IT network, offering real, attainable suggestions for improvement and allowing you to drastically increase the overall functionality, efficiency, and security of your network. As a business grows, it’s IT network understandably grows as well. Yet the larger a network grows, the more complex it becomes, until eventually, business owners and executives are left with a complicated, confusing IT infrastructure whose inefficiencies and issues they don’t fully know how to resolve. A network assessment works to demystify the inner workings of your network, leaving you with an easy to understand report outlining steps that can be taken to drastically improve your IT network, and, in some instances, taking those steps for you.
Advantages of a Network Assessment
It’s one thing to understand what a network assessment is, yet it’s arguably even more important to understand the value that a network assessment offers to a company or organization looking to streamline and improve their IT network. If you are wondering whether a professional network assessment is the right choice for you and your business, consider the following advantages:
Identify (And Fix) Bottlenecks
Certain software, applications, and processes may be significantly slowing down your network speed, yet identifying these bottlenecks is often a lot trickier than it might seem. One of the tasks of a network assessment is to locate these bottlenecks and fix them so that they no longer act as such a drain on your network speed. At the end of a network assessment, you should be able to notice an increase in the speed and functionality of your network. This is one of the top reasons why many executives choose to have a network assessment performed.
Patch Glaring Security Issues
A network assessment isn’t the same as a security assessment, and for a comprehensive analysis of your network’s security, you will want to perform the latter. With that being said, a network assessment is still great for identifying and addressing glaring security issues that need to be fixed as soon as possible. If there are any critical problems with your current security software or processes, a network assessment will find them and fix them.
Find out Where Your Resources are Needed Most
Some departments within your business or organization require more network resources than others. Yet determining how much resources each department needs without a comprehensive understanding of your network and each department’s network needs is little more than educated guesswork. This often leads to businesses allocating too much of their network resources to some departments while not allowing enough for other departments. A network assessment, though, allows you to pinpoint exactly how much resources each department needs, fixing this imbalance.
Explore New Technology Options
Part of the report that is given to you at the end of network assessment discusses which technology options might be a good fit for your current network and how they might be implemented. A network assessment explores integration points in the short-term, medium-term, and long-term, giving you a comprehensive strategy for what technologies to consider and when to consider integrating them into your network.
Increase the Productivity of Your IT Department
A network assessment provides a wealth of information that will prove incredibly useful to your IT department. Armed with the information gathered by the network assessment, they will be able to more quickly diagnose and fix future issues, increasing both their productivity, speed, and effectiveness.
Identify Hardware that is Nearing the End of its Life-Cycle
Nothing lasts forever, especially not computer hardware. Knowing when your hardware is expected to no longer be functional, though, allows you to begin budgeting for its replacement and not be caught by surprise when it stops working. Along with this, a network assessment is able to identify hardware and firmware that, because of their age, may be causing security issues and/or efficiency issues within your network. Knowing this allows you to replace these components before they give out entirely and improve the overall security and functionality of your network.
Increased Understanding of How Your Network Functions
A network assessment generates a report that is meant to be easily understood by everyone, not necessarily just those with a background in IT. This report leads to increased understanding of how your network functions for you, your management staff, and every other department you choose to send the report to. Since multiple departments are often involved in decisions that affect or relate to your IT network, an increased understanding of how the network functions is valuable information that will lead to better informed decisions in the future.
Establish a Baseline and Set Thresholds
It’s hard to gauge how well your network is performing without first establishing a baseline of what normal performance looks like. Not only does a network assessment allow you to establish a baseline by which to evaluate future performance, it also lets you set performance thresholds. When these thresholds are exceeded, you and/or your IT department will be sent an automatic alert that an issue has arisen within your network and needs to be addressed.
Determine Your Overall Capabilities and Shortcomings
A network assessment provides you with a detailed yet easy to understand report that outlines every aspect of your network, pinpointing both the areas where you are doing really well and the areas where there is room for improvement. Nothing else gives you such a complete understanding of your overall capabilities and shortcomings. If you know there is room for improvement within your current network but aren’t sure where to start, a network assessment will arm you with the information you need to begin making useful improvements to your network while making sure to avoid changing what’s already working well.
How to Request a Network Assessment
Setting up a network assessment is simple, and the process is designed to be completely non-disruptive to your business. If you would like to learn more about the advantages of a network assessment and request a network assessment for your business or organization, feel free to contact us today