The larger your workforce, the less you can tolerate imperfections in how your network performs from moment to moment.
Even small hiccups can scupper productivity for entire teams, and lead to delays and disruption which ripples out to all of your operations.
It’s better to be proactive in pinpointing problems and rectifying them, so here’s a look at some strategies that will make a difference to the speed and reliability of your office network infrastructure.
Ensure Hardware Is Properly Configured
There will likely be a lot of devices which need to work in unison to provide consistent network performance, and if even one of these pieces of hardware is improperly configured, issues can arise.
Bear in mind that configuring devices is not a one-time solution, but something you’ll need to schedule in regularly over time. For example, software updates or the addition of new assets into your infrastructure can upset the applecart elsewhere, so vigilance is vital.
Employ Antivirus Software To Defeat Malicious Code
Sometimes network performance can plummet without any obvious reason, leaving you scratching your head and wondering what’s going on.
This is a warning sign that some form of virus has managed to infect your networked devices, and is monopolizing bandwidth and causing other types of mischief beneath the surface.
Modern antivirus software is a must-have for large businesses, and installing it on any asset which is part of or has access to your office network will prevent infections and weed out dangerous third party software that does take root.
Use Network Sniffer Software To Provide Insights
You can harness a network sniffer tool to provide real-time network monitoring, in turn generating data on performance over time from which actionable insights may be gleaned.
Monitoring your network in this way is vital because it lets you know what normal levels of performance look like, and thus determine when problems emerge, and in turn what might be their cause.
Consider Setting Up Multiple Networks To Accommodate Different Types Of User
If all of your employees are sharing the same network resources as any visitors and customers who are on-site throughout the day, this can lead to untenable levels of traffic that compromise network traffic for everyone.
There’s also a security risk associated with opening up internal network resources to outsiders. As such it’s wise to set up a separate network for employees, and one for visitors.
That way you won’t be beset by bottlenecks during peak periods of use, and will also shield mission-critical systems from third party access.
Talk To Team Members About Acceptable Network Usage
Even if your infrastructure is robust, it might crumble under the pressure that’s put upon it by employees if they are carrying out data-intensive activities with a frequency and volume beyond what you’d planned for.
Rather than investing more time and money in increasing the capacity of your network, it’s easier to engage team members and educate them on the best practices for network usage.
For example, in the case that large amounts of data are being shared internally, the use of compression tools or even removable storage to minimize the burden on the network could be recommended.
Likewise employees should be discouraged from leaving devices connected and active when they are not in use, freeing up resources for others.
Plan For Network Upgrades Well In Advance
Earlier with discussed the usefulness of network monitoring as a means of gaining performance insights. This collection of data also helps when it comes to planning out an upgrade path for your infrastructure.
At some point all office networks require an overhaul, just like gaming laptops, and the trick is to know when to implement this and how much capacity to add to accommodate your growing workforce.
Legacy systems that are too long in the tooth to keep up with demands, or are simply no longer compatible with the newer hardware that’s being added to the mix, must be encompassed in this upgrade cycle.
Have A Backup Plan For Outages
A network outage will bring a business to its knees, and so it’s not enough to plan and implement a robust and resilient network infrastructure; you also have to have contingencies in place so that you know what to do if prolonged downtime does occur.
Whether that means shifting to a separate network connection, perhaps provided by mobile coverage, until your fixed line service is restored, or having a work-from-home policy which you can implement to minimize disruption, you can’t take chances.