There are a lot of complexities involved when purchasing new IT network hardware. A lot of companies wonder whether they're purchasing enough equipment, but just as often, too much equipment can be as bad as too little. There's a tricky balance necessary when planning a new network.
For this reason, we strongly recommend consulting with professional networking experts, especially if your firm hasn't had the experience of going through network upgrades recently.
The extra fees for experienced help will usually more than pay through themselves both in initial cost savings, as well as throughout the lifespan of your new network equipment.
Preventing Overspending for Your IT Network
When you're buying network hardware, the biggest and latest offerings may not be right for you. A solution designed for 500 users isn't going to offer any additional benefits to a firm with only 50 employees. Further, having room to grow into hardware is of limited benefit, since you should assume it will only be usable for around five years.
The same is true of bandwidth and throughput. A network is only as fast as its slowest components.
So, it's important to consider your entire network situation when choosing hardware. The specs on the box are only theoretical, assuming your entire network is capable of supporting them. Network experts know this, and can recommend the right hardware for your current architecture.
A network consultant can work with you to discuss - or develop - your five- and ten-year technology plans so that they coincide with your own firm's expansion goals for those years. This allows sane, sensible network planning that buys the upgrades you need without wasting money on features that will go unused for the hardware's lifespan.
Preventing Underspending for Your IT Network
In many ways, underspending on IT investments can be worse in the long run than overspending. There are a few different scenarios where this can be an issue:
If your business is currently experiencing system instability or slow download rates, network upgrades that fail to adequately fix these issues ultimately just extend their costs.
As discussed above, older hardware can drag down newer hardware. If bottlenecks are allowed to remain on the system, it can vastly reduce the effectiveness and value of your new purchase.
Buying the bare minimum needed may seem like effective cost-cutting in the short term, but it creates a cycle of upgrades as cheap/insufficient equipment becomes obsolete more quickly.
Downtime can also become an increasing problem. Every time the network has to go offline for repairs and upgrades, that's more lost productivity. Underspending means it's not done right the first time.
Network specialists are aware of these challenges, and are looking ahead to prevent them from becoming issues. It may be necessary to go a bit beyond your comfort zone in budgeting for new network hardware, but all too often, a small extra cost upfront will prevent significant costs later on.
Getting Your It Installation Just Right
If business networks weren't so important to global business today, perhaps this wouldn't be such a big deal. However, that's not the case. A business's network is one of its single most important productivity tools, enabling everything from initial sales to internal employee collaboration.
A new IT network implementation needs to be done right the first time - it's the only way to head off increased costs and lost sales later down the line. You don't want a network that's straining to keep up with your bandwidth usage, or can't properly interface with your other devices, or that cannot be scaled alongside your growth.
These are the issues that a reputable networking vendor deals with every day, and they know the solutions that smaller businesses needs. So, rather than taking a chance, why not ask for a little help first to ensure your next IT investment fully pays off.
Thinking of upgrading your network? Read The 10 Step Proccess for Upgrading Your Business IT Network.
image 2: www.freshdeveloper.com