In Part 1, we explained why the benefits of a network refresh far outweigh the risk of continuing to operate outdated network infrastructure. Legacy networks weren’t built to support today’s demands. Automation is more difficult to implement, and compliance and security are tougher to monitor and maintain.
That doesn’t mean you should dive headfirst into a network refresh. If you don’t do your homework, you could end up stumbling through significant business disruption and cost overruns without creating any measurable improvements. In the previous post, we also discussed the research that needs to be done to ensure business goals and challenge are addressed. Once research is complete, it’s time to start working on the project plan.
Your network refresh project plan begins with your timeline. When should you start the project to minimize business disruption and avoid delays? What problems could arise, what contingency plans can you put in place, and how could they affect your timeline? How will various events on your timeline affect your employees, business applications, physical workplace and the customer experience? What are the projected costs for every task in your timeline?
As dependent as you probably are on wireless, mobile and the cloud, you still have to evaluate your physical facility. You also need to understand your network architecture requirements – from cabling and 10GB ethernet, to routers and servers, to the creation of a VPN – and whether your facility will be able to accommodate this equipment.
There are no shortcuts when it comes to creating and executing a network refresh. There are many moving parts, all of which can affect your timeline and costs, as well as the effectiveness of your network. Most small to midsize businesses don’t have the in-house expertise or manpower to manage such a complex project, which is why it makes sense to partner with a solution provider from day one of the research phase.
An experienced solution provider can design your network to not only improve capabilities and performance, but also to simplify management, increase efficiency and maximize automation. The provider can help you look past marketing claims and evaluate vendor solutions in terms of business value so you don’t buy devices that won’t meet your needs. Additionally, the provider can help you implement wireless infrastructure that not only adds coverage, but also supports a much higher density of devices, and integrate your security tools and services to improve your defenses without adding complexity.
Of course, there is no way to prevent every problem or mishap. It’s all in how you respond to them. Chances are that a reputable service provider has experienced these challenges and knows how to overcome them in a way that limits delays and added costs. This level of expertise is critical to preventing the risks we discussed in Part 1.
Verteks offers consulting services to guide you through the research and planning of your network refresh project. We can also manage the design and installation of your new network infrastructure to minimize disruption and adhere to your timeline. Let’s discuss your goals and challenges and how to upgrade your network in a way that meets your expectations.