Around 78% of the employed population log onto a computer for work every day, but many do not think about the network they connect to and its importance for accomplishing daily tasks. Usually, people hop on their computers, send emails, access documents, research, and process orders before hopping off and doing it again the next day. However, for the network to operate, a vast collection of tools, hardware, applications, and programs are always running behind the scenes. These components are essential for an organization’s online communication, connectivity, cybersecurity, and information-sharing between users, coworkers, and clients. solutions. Like snowflakes, no two network infrastructure designs are identical. Still, every organization must understand how their specific components work to create a productive, safe, and scalable network. A robust, well-thought-out network of components establishes connections that are fast, reliable, and strong enough to withstand hackers, data breaches, and data mishandling.
What Is Network Infrastructure?
Network infrastructure is all about governing the flow of data. Whether a user is sending documents, communicating with clients, or processing orders, the network infrastructure controls and monitors accessibility to critical data and files.
In the early days of the internet, before Wi-Fi, network infrastructures transferred data via cables. While wired networks still exist today, most organizations have opted for the convenient but less secure wireless networks which transfer data through the air. Regardless of the type of network, all network infrastructures use a few core components:
- Hardware components: Routers, switches, gateways, wireless access points, modems.
- Software components: Tools to monitor, manage, and secure connections and data transfers.
- Network Logic: Various networking protocols that place rules around data exchange.
These infrastructure components serve two purposes. The first is establishing and controlling the network connection, and the second purpose is to enhance and improve the efficiency and security of the connection through protocols, security applications, and firewalls. Every organization requires a network infrastructure to run, but many fail to incorporate a robust system of resources to optimize the data exchange.
Simply put, network infrastructure is the hardware and software that enable devices to connect to each other. Think of it as a system of roads, with physical traffic replaced by digital traffic in the form of information. And similar to how roads need maintenance and regular obstruction-clearing, so do network infrastructures.
Why Are Network Infrastructures Important for Businesses?
What businesses do not rely on the internet and online applications to operate? While the answers are very few, a surprisingly large number, around 27%, do not use IT support to streamline their network infrastructure. Remember, a network infrastructure does not merely establish a connection, it also determines the quality of how businesses can communicate and connect with their clients. The quality of the network infrastructure ultimately determines a business’s productivity level.
So, what if a business fails to invest in its network infrastructure? There are a few serious dangers that come with owning an outdated or skimpy network infrastructure. The two main adverse outcomes are:
- Decreased productivity.
- Increased likelihood of data breaches and data mismanagement
Businesses risk network failure when their infrastructure is unreliable, leaving them unable to communicate with clients or possibly even internally. Not only does this impact the ability of employees to do their jobs, resulting in diminished productivity, but it also deters potential clients.
Security is another huge risk. Data breaches, hacks, and phishing scams are on the rise, costing businesses an average of $3.86 million in financial damages. Failing to incorporate proper monitoring, configuration and segmentation with network infrastructures is a recipe for disaster, allowing random devices to gain entry to networks without detection.
What Are the Benefits of Good Network Infrastructure?
Any business consultant seeks to analyze a few core areas critical to business success. These areas are efficiency, productivity, security, and financial benefit. Network infrastructure investment provides immediate returns on each of these fronts, especially since businesses continue to increase reliance on online operations as a key revenue driver.
Efficiency and Productivity
Connections become faster when businesses invest in better routers, firewalls and switches. This allows businesses to operate with less downtime and process more client orders and requests. It also allows employees to communicate and access data quickly.
A secure connection is just as important as a fast one. Businesses can incorporate many components and protocols into network infrastructures to monitor and track data exchanges and alert network managers if the system detects any abnormal network behavior. There are also tools to help block malware, viruses, bugs, and non-network visitors.
Every business understands that there are costs associated with network disruptions. Investing in a reliable network infrastructure dramatically reduces the likelihood of network failure, meaning businesses can reach their maximum output. Additionally, a robust network infrastructure helps avoid the immense toll of security breaches. And finally, it helps protect business reputation, which might be an organization’s most valuable asset.
Take a Strategic and Dedicated Approach to Network Infrastructure
Businesses continue realizing the immense value of investing in their network infrastructure. However, many organizations find the time and cost to develop network infrastructures internally a large burden. Because of this, they turn to outside tools and services to manage and improve their IT systems. They may even find that hiring a third party saves the added costs of hiring and training an internal IT staff.
If you are looking for an industry-leading consulting service to evaluate and manage your network infrastructure, consider ISOutsource. We are experts in assisting small and medium-sized businesses with recognizing their weaknesses and areas for improvement within existing network infrastructures, and we provide innovative strategies to improve productivity, security, and scalability.
Schedule a call with us today to learn more about how our services can take your network infrastructure and security to the next level.