Your network is a vital part of your IT environment—are you confident you’re managing it properly? Discover everything you need to know about network support (and why it’s so important) in this guide.
An outdated, mismanaged network can be slow, experience lag, and other issues due to the number of devices connected, lack of proper prioritization of data traffic in transit, and how it’s being managed and maintained.
Why should you care? Because it can slow down your employees and your clients affect your business’s overall productivity. This is why it’s necessary to have comprehensive and reliable network support in place.
In this blog, we’ll explain what network support is, how we deliver network support for our clients, and why it’s so important.
Put simply, network support is the ongoing management of a network’s health.
It involves maintenance, updating, troubleshooting, and more. A network support provider will generally manage the devices and equipment that connect the users to the company network from any location and prioritize high-value network traffic.
However, the definition of network support has changed for All Mountain Technologies over the years as the nature of IT environments has evolved.
Network support used to primarily concern monitoring hardware status, but now is a matter of monitoring performance, productivity, network health, and uptime of secured networks. This is not just for enterprises as evolving toolsets allow providers like All Mountain Technologies to effectively manage our smaller SMB clients and remote locations now too.
Often the least thought of aspect of an IT infrastructure, the network is just as vital as any other part. This is because it’s connected to everything IT-related in your business. Both literally and otherwise, the network ties everything together, and by definition, includes all aspects of the environment.
It doesn’t matter how new and expensive your desktop computers are if they’re not connected to anything. This is especially true given the prevalence of cloud computing in today’s business world. Whereas at one point, locally-stored data on desktop computers that weren’t connected to a network were “good enough”, these days it’s more likely than not that you’re storing data in the cloud. That means a secure, well-managed network is a must.
In the same way, it doesn’t matter how expensive and well-maintained your servers are. Whether you manage an optimized onsite server farm or pay a huge monthly fee for access to server space in a Tier-3 data center, that may not be secure or run as well as needed if your network isn’t managed properly. We see business owners simply “throwing more bandwidth” at perceived network speed problems which can be expensive and possibly unnecessary.
For these reasons, especially given the challenges with hiring IT pros, business owners often simply outsource network support tasks to a capable, more available IT company (like All Mountain Technologies). Good providers bring tools and industry best practices along with staff to manage these elements 24/7/365. The goal is to guarantee a level of quality and consistency in management and maintenance that likely can’t be achieved by you or someone on your staff trying to manage IT on their own.
AMT makes use of a suite of enterprise-level solutions that are monitored by both automated systems and our expert team to ensure networks are secure and functional. We deliver a range of services tailored to the level of security standards and functions that our different clients may need.
Depending on the size, scope, and nature of the client’s business, our benchmarks for success may change. Network performance is set for the quality of service (QOS) or priority based on how important that traffic is to the company function. For example, web meetings and phone calls are the highest priority, line of business traffic is also prioritized, and streaming/downloads may be a lower priority when traffic load is highest.
In light of how complex and spread out modern networks can be, QOS is now often needed for remote offices and smaller locations to secure the network. Furthermore, we use third parties to manage QoS and security across disparate locations for remote work staff. Multiple ISPs and multiple office locations can make this a real juggling act.
The fact is that network management and support is not a simple undertaking nor “set it and forget it”. We have to collaborate more than ever to understand which elements are critical to the success of our clients in their evolving operations and constantly strive to maximize their ROI on IT investment.
By outsourcing network support to AMT, our clients don’t have to develop and manage a network support team of their own. Our team already has a suite of remote management and remediation best practices so our clients and their IT staff get all the benefits with none of the hassles.
Given the modern popularity of both remote workers and cloud-based services, the conventional business network has become much more complex. You can’t expect all authorized users to be accessing the network from one physical location.
Often in today’s environment, critical applications and workforce tools needed for productivity are no longer present in the “office environment” but are delivered via the cloud from disparate vendors.
It’s never been more important to ensure that security features are properly integrated for businesses based on Microsoft Cloud credentials, registered IP addresses, or other third-party elements. Addressing the challenge of securing these elements and effectively serving a distributed workforce is made harder but just as vital for client productivity and security as it ever was.
No matter where staff members need to access network resources, they need to be able to do so securely and conveniently.
Absolutely, yes! The network has extended outside the office edge device. The firewall is often no longer the perimeter of the network in the modern business world. The average company workforce has expanded to different connectivity methods, different locations, and has become more flexible to allow more office functions from anywhere.
That’s why AMT takes extra care to properly manage access and functionality for all end-users at our clients’ organizations. This often involves third-party WAN solutions, multiple Internet and QOS providers, and productivity metrics and security services that span the Internet area lying well outside client-managed firewalls.
Your network is simply too important to overlook. Even though it may not be the technology you see or think about every day, it’s the foundation for how you and your staff get work done.
Be sure to invest properly in how your network is supported. Cut corners and you’ll put your functionality, productivity, and security at risk.
Book a meeting with the AMT team to discover more about our network support services.