5 Ways to Improve Enterprise Network Performance in 2021

5 Ways to Improve Enterprise Network Performance in 2021

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5 Ways to Improve Enterprise Network Performance in 2021 was written by Devin Partida, Editor in Chief at ReHack Magazine.

Reliable network performance at your workplace is crucial for keeping people productive and ensuring clients remain satisfied. If you've determined there's room for improvement, here are some ways to achieve it.

Use a Network Monitoring Tool 

It’s often challenging to know where issues lie unless you have end-to-end visibility of all activity. That’s why using a network monitoring tool can be instrumental in helping you and your team get to the heart of the problem and assess how to solve it.  

As you consider different options, it’s a good idea to select one with an application-aware approach. It’ll show you a breakdown of the response times for each app used at the workplace.  You can then see whether there are issues with the whole network or just specific parts.  

Look for products that let you set customized alerts, too. That makes it easier to track certain events or issues you want to solve.

Choose Metrics and Plan a Way Forward

These five tips should give you some helpful inspiration for reaching your company’s network performance milestones. Take the time to select tracking metrics, whether they relate to availability, packet loss or something else. Then, use these suggestions to determine which strategies would be most effective for targeting problem areas.

Consider an Intelligent Bandwidth-Limiting Approach

During their initial efforts to address enterprise network performance problems, some IT specialists make decisions that don’t account for the numerous ways people use the internet. For example, limiting streaming services could lead to varied user experiences as more people connect.

The first person who uses Zoom on a network during a typical day might have things go smoothly. However, that may not be the case for the worker who’s trying to attend a meeting via the app at the same time as 100 others.  

Thankfully, there are products that take a smart approach to curb unnecessary bandwidth usage. They aim to give a more balanced and high-quality experience for all users. Think about investing in one of those rather than making a decision that could hurt how easily people can get work done.

Ensure Your Budget Suits the Network Improvement Goals

Enhancing network performance at your business requires having enough money to make any necessary upgrades. It’s often challenging to allocate more funds to your system’s needs or receive authorization to invest in certain upgrades. However, updates could make it perform better, plus enhance security.  

One survey found that 50% of IT decision-makers cited the budget as a top obstacle to network security. However, there are several ways you can reduce costs while seeing the maximum return on investment. Think about hiring third-party network management providers. Those companies have a lot of in-house resources and expertise, which makes them cost-effective choices.  

It’s also wise to consider which investments would get you closest to optimal performance levels. Do you need to upgrade your cabling, or would it make more sense to increase bandwidth with hardware? Once you figure out the best routes to take, it’ll be easier to request budget increases, if necessary.

Consider How Automation Could Help

Automation has had a tremendous impact on many business areas. Network management is among them. Perhaps you’re in a position where your company needs to hire more people to oversee the system, but it’ll be a while before you find enough suitable candidates. Alternatively, perhaps people on your team continually bring up how they spend too much time on manual networking tasks. In cases like those, automation could bring noticeable benefits.  

A 2019 survey found that most businesses that automated at least 40% of their network processes exceeded their company goals. The research also revealed that 96% have started implementing automation. Many such efforts were in the early stages, but that result shows that more company representatives realize automation could be a vital part of improved network management.  

Network automation can assist with necessities like:  

  • Configuring and provisioning 
  • Deploying devices on a network 
  • Managing a network’s files  
  • Creating backups  
  • Screening for issues and suggesting resolutions 

It’s worth thinking about whether automation could help your network and team achieve better performance. It takes time to learn how to use most automated solutions, but it pays off.

Understand the Link Between Cybersecurity and Network Performance

You may think that any problems with poor network performance relate to your company’s infrastructure. That may be the case, but inadequate cybersecurity could be the culprit, too.  

Consider an example where several people out of your 350-person workforce report network slowness. Since so few of the overall employees noticed problems, it could be that the workers who submitted trouble tickets have viruses slowing down their computer’s functionality.  

Moreover, cybersecurity issues can shut down whole networks. Rather than experiencing below-average performance, the network becomes temporarily unusable until the matter has been resolved.  

In one recent example, a United Kingdom university had to close its eight sites for a week due to a major ransomware attack. That event happened just after students returned to in-person learning following COVID-19 restrictions. Learners could still use online tools for coursework but had no on-site computer systems.  

There’s no harm in focusing on network performance upgrades, of course. However, you should also take steps to ensure cybersecurity problems won’t make you fall short of goals.