Network Assessments: Why Every Business Needs To Do These Regularly

The success of every enterprise closely surrounds two factors, information and communication. Modern businesses increasingly invest in sophisticated networks in order to facilitate better communication and information transfer, as well as better connectivity between systems. Given how integral an organization’s network is to its operations, its security and efficiency directly affect the enterprise’s well-being. This makes network assessment vital as a maintenance and repair tool to optimize the performance of an organization’s computer network.

What is a network assessment?

A network assessment is the review of an existing computer network with the aim of identifying any underlying problems and areas that need improvement. Components of focus during the review include the infrastructure, performance, security, and management. The network assessment process can be broken down into several steps which include:

  • Network Audit - This offers an insight into the network infrastructure, the software it’s running and how the network is connected.
  • Network Performance - It provides a detailed understanding of the network’s loading and traffic profiles. It reveals any underlying problems and their causes.
  • Network Security - It offers a review of the existing firewall hardware and software and insight into their performance potentially revealing security issues.
  • Network Adaptability - With changing technology, it’s important that a network is designed so that future updates are easier to make. A network assessment identifies the adjustments necessary to ensure that the network is easier to update, as well as reviewing the current architecture to ensure it supports 12-18 month company projections.
  • Network Conformity - The existing network is assessed against the industry’s best practices.
  • Human Intelligence - Interaction with company IT, end users and business leaders to understand how the network is supposed to work, the perception of the actual performance, and the company roadmap for the next 12-18 months or more.

The tools and methodologies of carrying out these processes vary from one technology practitioner to another. The findings from the assessment are documented and used to develop recommendations focusing on solving any existing problems, synchronizing business requirements with the network and preparing the network for future growth.

Why is it important?

  • Addressing security vulnerabilities – Privacy and confidentiality are paramount to businesses. The consequences of security breaches are sometimes irreconcilable, disruptive to service and can cause irreparable brand damage. Network assessments identify security holes and offer detailed recommendations on how to fix these lapses in security helping to minimize any compromise of critical business information.
  • Helping resource allocation – A network assessment identifies the network needs of each department of the organization. Allocation of network resources can, therefore, be done according to these needs reducing cases of under or over utilization of resources.
  • Addressing bandwidth congestion – Bandwidth congestion is often caused by downloading large files, streaming videos or even running software that demands more bandwidth than is available. Increasing the bandwidth is not always the solution. Network assessments may offer alternative solutions that will fully address this problem leading to improved network performance and efficiency.
  • Patch management - Network assessments help in identifying exactly which systems ( routers, switches , firewalls, etc.) require patching.
  • Ensuring a smooth transition to cloud services - There has been a recent massive migration by business enterprises to cloud-based technology. The technology is reputable for offering better security, reliability, and cost-effectiveness. However, if the organization's network is marred by hitches, the enterprise may not enjoy the benefits resulting from cloud services. Network assessments identify the improvements required before the migration can be effected. This way, the transition will not only be smooth, but the business will also enjoy all the benefits of cloud technology.
  • Offers and insight into the advantages and disadvantages of new technology - In the event that a business is planning to introduce a new technology to its network, it needs to understand how it will fit into the existing infrastructure. A network assessment provides valuable insight into the current state of a network and shed light on how new technology can be better incorporated, while maintaining performance, flexibility, scalability and security. By considering these factors, the business will be able to plan its technological growth appropriately.

For ample flow of information, smooth communication, and perfect connectivity between systems, there is a need to carry out network assessments as part of an IT department’s set of regular checks. The more frequent they are, the better it is for the enterprise's operations and safety. To be able to identify and address network performance challenges and risks, every enterprise needs to consult a reliable network services provider to help them develop a network assessment regime that fits their network and business needs.

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St Petersburg, FL 33701

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