Network optimisation: what it means and where to start
Insights•4 minutes read
Network optimisation: what it means and where to start
Are there issues with your network, but you don’t have a budget to completely re-build it?
Learn where you can start to optimise your network.
May 16, 2023
Optimise your network without replacing hardware
Often, clients will come to us with a common dilemma: they recognise there are efficiency, security or speed issues with their network, but they don’t have an enormous budget to support completely re-building the network from scratch.
They may invest in new components to resolve issues, including equipment from different suppliers or vendors. Or they may be tied to existing contracts that aren’t supporting them or have committed to roadmaps that they’re unable to prioritise due to their day-to-day workload.
Fortunately, there 4 key things that organisations can do to optimise and evolve their networks – without having to undertake a major ‘rip and replace’ exercise.
1. Consolidating your network support
Many modern networks have evolved organically and are composed of a diverse range of components – many with their own vendor support and unique and highly varied service level agreements. Without a single, consolidated support arrangement, these organisations are paying more for support than they need to, and also lack the overarching view which can help them identify opportunities for improvement or efficiency. Clients we have worked initially believe that continuing with the original equipment manufacturers seems to be easy for extended hardware support as they already ‘own’ the contracts, however, over time feel constraint to inflexible contract terms and renewals.
Key insightBy consolidating all of your support with one provider, it’s possible to get access to better pricing, and additional levels of wraparound service that multiple vendors simply cannot provide.
2. Extending the life of existing assets
In many instances, a network component’s vendor-defined ‘end of life’ comes a long time before the device has fulfilled its actual useful life. As such, many assets are replaced unnecessarily, simply because of a pre-defined schedule.
If saving money is a primary focus, you should evaluate the health of your individual network components and recommend replacing items only when there is a specific need, or when they show signs of negatively affecting your network performance. From there, you can retire devices when they are no longer useful, rather than being confined into an upgrade due to a vendor’s choice of support. When a network component does need to be retired, it’s also important to ensure you choose the most suitable replacement – based on the value that component brings to the network and to the business as a whole.
3. Reviewing new components, requirements and demands
The COVID-19 pandemic placed organisations under increased pressure to provide remote connectivity to employees, students, staff and customers. However, while some had the network infrastructure in place to thrive, many also scrambled to support remote working and raced to adopt new network requirements. In many instances, this rapid pace of adoption led to security and/or governance gaps, which can become extremely costly if left unchecked. By reviewing any recent growth, and addressing any gaps or over-scoped network components, you can easily start to reduce costs and make your network more secure and efficient overall.
4. Switching to a pay-by-the-month model
Many businesses pay for their network components and associated support as an up-front capital expense – which can affect profitability and reduce the available funds for innovation and growth. By moving to an operational expense approach and paying a third-party maintenance provider to take care of everything under a contract structured month-by-month, it’s possible to realise ongoing cost-efficiencies, as well as greater agility, flexibility and financial control.
Choosing the right partner
Finding a partner that fits your business and its objectives is vital. Many vendors, including your original equipment manufacturer, don’t always have the client’s focus in mind and try to upsell or upgrade your network.
Choosing a partner like Interactive, who doesn’t sell hardware, means we are focused on helping our clients get more from existing assets, not simply buying new ones. Our single-minded focus is on maintaining an asset for as long as your business needs it. We invest tens of millions of dollars every year ensuring we have all the parts our clients’ network could potentially require – and keeping these ‘in reserve’ until needed.
Regardless of the industry you’re in, existing manufacturer contracts or your branch locations, we can define a fit-for-purpose solution tailored to your business. We also can provide expert advice regarding exactly when and how to replace components based on your unique business needs. Then, once we determine a device has reached the end of its useful life but still contains sensitive or confidential information, we can ensure the safe and secure destruction and disposal of the asset. This means we can eliminate any risk of your data ending up in the wrong place, with an environmentally safe disposal.
Stop overpaying for IT support
Tired of off-the-shelf support plans that don’t reflect your service needs? Talk to us about tailoring a plan for your business.