Many businesses have been forced to deal with unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting actions to combat the spread of the virus. Numerous companies closed completely, while others were forced into a modified operational pattern. Every change was performed quickly, as mandates were handed down from federal, state, and local governments.
Now, many businesses are setting goals of reopening soon. Even the resumption of full business operations will likely look very different. As your business faces a looming date to reopen or open wider services, now is the time to consider any network changes or upgrades that may be necessary.
The recent dramatic changes may have revealed areas that need improvement in your current networking solution. Or, dramatic shifts in how your workforce have had to conduct business may have revealed new possibilities that can grow your company. Now is the time to get a step ahead of the competition with any improvements that are needed.
Improving Cloud Solutions
If COVID-19 has taught us anything about managing our IT departments, it’s that networking has become far more complex over time. IT is not just about managing routers, IP addresses, software, and code. The Internet of Things (IoT), sensors, batteries, firmware, physical device location management, asset placement, and more have now entered the picture as major factors. We no longer have total control over this management.
To manage this complexity, don’t just look at cloud solutions as a way to save money. Cloud-based operations can do much more. You can potentially look into an Edge data center to help performance substantially. Cloud computing is more about increasing raw computing power and speed. Not to mention the new versatile ability to allow employees to do important work off-site.
Now is the time to look into what business processes can be automated and test the effectiveness of the automations. Especially while offices only have essential workers in them. How can automating traditionally rote processes increase productivity, reduce costs, streamline communications, improve quality, and increase customer satisfaction?
What should you automate? When it comes to your network, automating processes through network virtualization allows setting up of new branches of your network faster. This also includes better management of the network infrastructure and security, bandwidth usage, load balancing and other tasks.
You may have had to throw together some unlikely network solutions in order to prepare for modified operations under COVID-19 restrictions. Now is the time to go back and audit your security protocols, documentation, and processes, including any quick-and-dirty changes made on the fly. Examine how things are working and add any new provisions based on how your company will work both in-office and through new remote arrangements.
Review existing and new security policies with employees, especially dealing with remote computing, networking, device usage, and email. With the rise in work-from-home arrangements, bad actors are working harder than ever to penetrate weakened networks. Update firmware, firewalls, and antivirus software. Establish new protocols about using smartphones, external memory, and using public hotspots.
Enhancing Disaster Recovery and Redundancy
Make sure you have network redundancies built out to support any failures that may happen in your network. With the changing consumption of data, you may need to audit data usage and anticipate what will be needed. Also, prepare for the worst. Do you have your network set up to quickly recover from outages? With many people working remotely, an outage could cost companies and customers substantially more in productivity than in the past.
Primarily, you should have a backup network option. Dedicated wireless Internet is a superb backup, or even primary, Internet and network solution. In the event your primary connection goes down, the backup automatically picks up and allows you to continue business as usual with a minimum of delay.
Do you need help reviewing your existing networking systems and determining where changes or upgrades are necessary? MHO can help! Contact us at (877) WANT-MHO or drop us a message online to schedule a consultation on your network.