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4 Indicators It’s Time to Upgrade Your Network

When it comes to ensuring the technology your organization relies on is running smoothly, the piece your IT department can’t afford to forget is your network. A robust network infrastructure is the necessary foundation needed for your organization to grow. (Learn about the importance of a next-generation network here.)

There are several indicators that a network is no longer serving its purpose; they tend to fall into four categories. If it’s time to upgrade your network infrastructure, you’re likely experiencing at least one of these.

Equipment Lifecycle
Inevitably, every organization needs to undergo an equipment refresh. This transition period is a prime time to implement the latest networking technology that will better complement organizational goals. Getting it right is important, as it’ll be with you for a long time – most networks last five to six years.

If your organization is running on outdated technology, you aren’t alone. Companies often postpone network upgrades because, outside of IT, it can be hard to understand that an underlying issue is connected with the network; therefore, a network upgrade becomes a cost organizations don’t understand. But the reality is that all technology suffers when the network does.

In addition, transitioning from legacy Internet services with outdated and expensive contracts may help uncover significant cost savings but it won’t happen without updating to a next-gen network.

Renegotiating Internet contracts is something many organizations forget to do regularly. At KSMC, we frequently encounter organizations who auto-renew their Internet contracts. However, Internet contracts are a prime place to start to find IT cost savings. For one single organization, our team was able to save it nearly $30,000 per year simply because the contract hadn’t been reviewed in a decade.

Before jumping in, note that entering into a new Internet service provider contract may require a network upgrade. Before signing any new contract, undergo an in-depth assessment of your technology to make sure it’s right for your business.

Application and Cloud Migrations
For many organizations, it is not a question of what business applications should move to the cloud, but when. Cloud transitions are another indicator that a network upgrade is needed. And, they’re often not possible without a next-gen network.

If you’re pushing business applications to the cloud, one of the first questions to ask is: Is your network set up in a way that allows connection to those applications?

Consider This Scenario
A client had begun to move their systems to the cloud and was running a legacy MPLS network with antiquated T1 circuits across ten office locations. At the time, they were struggling with significant performance issues and made the assumption that the cloud solution in place was the issue. Once our team was engaged, it became apparent that the issue wasn’t with the cloud solution, but the network trying to connect to it. Without the right foundation, the cloud solution would have been unusable.

With the technology available today, applications should be able to live and be accessed from anywhere and in a secure manner. In order to make this a reality, the proper network must be in place. Before you consider moving to the cloud, make sure your foundation is solid.

Cloud applications like Office 365, Dynamics CRM, or any other critical software your business relies on must be connected to your business. Deploying a remote workforce, implementing a new disaster recovery system, or mitigating cybersecurity threats all rely on a solid network.

The bottom line: If you don’t have a solid foundation, you need a next-generation network to support those initiatives.

Security Risk Mitigation
Have you or has someone within your organization experienced spear phishing? Maybe you have been one of the unlucky companies that has been hit with ransomware? Cybersecurity issues are another strong indicator of an outdated network.

The security landscape is continuously evolving and so must your network.

To remain protected within the ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape, a network should encompass both intrusion protection and detection systems – keeping tabs on what’s coming in and out of your systems.

Hackers certainly don’t operate singularly, and neither should you. With the right network in place, you can feel confident that you won’t be the next cyber news story. 

Business Growth
Business growth is the most exciting indicator that a network needs an upgrade. Additional office locations, remodeling, mergers and acquisitions, and more are all indicators that a new network may be needed to support the business.

In addition, organizations often use technology as a differentiator as they seek to be leaders in their space – and a next-gen network is a major component of that. Operating on a next-generation network will enable remote and distributed workforces to attain access to the latest and greatest systems in a secure and seamless manner.

How Can KSMC Help?
If one of these indicators resonates with you and your organization, it is time to consider a network upgrade. The best place to get started? Review our network upgrade checklist or contact our team to get started today.

Ryan Gould is the business technology practice manager at KSM Consulting. In this role, he manages 40+ IT professionals in the business technology practice, helping them develop, manage, and implement client solutions that strategically support their businesses. Connect with him on LinkedIn.