6 Benefits of a Professional Network Assessment for Your Business

Enterprises seeking to improve network performance should start with a third-party network assessment. Here are the top 6 benefits.

Today’s wireless networks are facing more challenges than ever before, but our professional reliance on them is only growing. Enterprise IT departments and their CIOs are tasked with managing networks that are both high-performing and highly secure — no easy task. Too often, IT teams find themselves with too little time and too much to do — at which point, the best thing any IT director can do is have their network thoroughly evaluated. That means bringing in a third party to perform a professional network assessment. A comprehensive network assessment can prove to be extremely advantageous for enterprises seeking to identify which parts of their networks are thriving and which parts need propping up. Here are the top six benefits of commissioning a network assessment for your enterprise.

Determine the Capabilities & Shortcomings of Your Network

The first step to improving your organization’s network is to understand the ins and outs of how it currently operates. Evaluating your current IT infrastructure, processes, performance, and security can provide insights into a network’s strength and weakness and allow administrators to make impactful changes to improve efficiency and tighten security.

If your network is having issues with speed, capacity, or coverage, an assessment can inform you which users, devices, and apps are using up the most bandwidth — and on which parts of your network. Additionally, if you’re experiencing traffic issues, you might have pockets of user density that can be identified and mitigated. On the other side of the coin, a network assessment can identify what your network is doing right.

Find Equipment That’s Nearing the End of Its Lifecycle

Often times, hardware will disrupt a network when it nears the end of its lifecycle. A network assessment can identify any hardware that might be slowing down operating speeds or exposing security gaps. An assessment can also help locate any firmware that should be updated. Old hardware doesn’t just cause performance issues — it can lead to security vulnerabilities that businesses may need to urgently address.

It’s difficult to know, at a glance, what needs replacement and what simply needs an update. A network assessment’s findings will help your enterprise properly prioritize and budget new equipment purchases and upgrades.

Locate Bottlenecks That are Causing Performance Problems

Network bottlenecks can be caused by a number of issues — one of which is applications and processes that require significant bandwidth, like downloading large files or running network-wide updates. These tasks significantly lower efficiencies, but simply adding more bandwidth may not always help. It could be a hardware issue, a software issue, a connectivity issue, a security issue, or something else. The most efficient way to locate and rectify such bottlenecks is with a well-executed, holistic network assessment.

Network assessments accomplish this by identifying incompatible software, poor wifi infrastructure, outdated servers, or slow devices on your network. Improving these aspects of your system can significantly limit network bottlenecks, and ultimately improve the productivity of your workforce.

Establish a Baseline for Normal Performance

Networks should establish standards for performance so that network administrators can quickly ascertain whether or not performance is trending in the wrong direction. Establishing a performance baseline isn’t a one-time thing, however: it refers to a process of evaluating network performance at regular intervals. This ongoing evaluation helps compare a current network status to the network’s normal performance standards over time. Admins can use this monitoring to set alerts for when their network’s performance falls below the threshold of its own expectations.

Overall, baselines will help network admins gain valuable information on the health of their hardware and software, allowing IT teams to anticipate problems their networks might encounter in the future.

Get a Handle on Your Inventory

A network assessment can help your enterprise organize its hardware inventory and IT assets. After all, if you want to improve your network and keep it secure, you have to know what you’re working with.

A network assessment makes inventorying easier by providing automated inventory for devices. This will alleviate the burden of running a manual device inventory — a tedious and time-consuming process. An automated device inventory can speed up device security compliance processes and help you gain quick access to device data during troubleshooting. These tasks can help you identify which devices might have unnecessary vulnerabilities, are outdated, or need to be replaced and removed from your network.

Receive Documentation of the Findings

There’s going to be a lot of data to keep track of after running a thorough assessment on a large network. That’s why the best network assessment services offer a well-organized, written report of all the findings generated. This report will often yield different components, like a client risk summary, a detailed asset report, or a mitigation readiness plan tailored to the unique characteristics of your network. Together, these documents will offer a roadmap for enterprises who are actively working to improve their networks.

Ready to begin reaping the benefits of a professional network assessment? Request a quote from Turn-key Technologies (TTI) today. With three decades of experience in the networking space, TTI has the resources and expertise necessary to ensure that all enterprise networks realize their full potential.

By Craig Badrick

March 30, 2016

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