In the previous post, we explained why a network refresh is worth the investment. We also discussed how the right preparation can help you avoid the cost overruns and delays that plague many network refresh projects.
A network refresh is essential to meet increasing demands on the network, support modern applications, and take full advantage of mobile, the cloud and the Internet of Things. Before diving into a network refresh, however, you need to carefully evaluate your business goals, future network needs, current network infrastructure and solution providers to make sure all are aligned.
Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to formulate your network refresh plan.
A very basic but important decision is knowing when to get started. There will be no perfect time, but the goals should be to minimize business disruption, plan for downtime, develop contingencies to overcome problems and avoid delays, and account for factors that could interfere with your project, such as holidays and vacations.
Next, get your technological requirements in order. You need to make sure your facility is capable of housing and powering new equipment. Match applications and services with the switches, routers and other hardware that can meet their requirements. Document your network architecture requirements, such as virtual private networks, hardware assignments and configurations, and the category and location of cabling.
Finally, determine if your proposed network will support your business processes and goals, taking growth projections over the next several years into account. Then create a timeline for your network refresh project that includes costs and potential risks.
Executing a network refresh is something few enterprises have the in-house expertise and resources to handle on their own. This is a time-consuming project that can easily bog down IT teams that are already strapped for time. A network refresh is far more complex than simply replacing an old piece of equipment with a newer, faster version with more bells and whistles. With technology, user preferences and customer needs constantly evolving, this overly simplistic approach is likely to produce a network that falls short of expectations.
The best way to achieve your desired outcome and minimize risk is to partner with an experience solution provider to guide you through your network refresh. An experienced provider will know which network technology has changed and how to incorporate new solutions according to best practices. They’ll be able to recommend approaches to network design that you probably haven’t considered. A solution provider will also be able to provide insights into the latest security threats and how to take a more proactive approach to security and compliance.
Of course, Murphy’s Law still applies. Even the best plans can be unexpectedly foiled at the worst possible time. A solution provider can help you overcome challenges, mitigate the impact of unforeseen setbacks, and get your network refresh project back on track.
Technologent’s network assessment services can help you identify areas for improvement in your network and develop a plan that is aligned with your business needs. Our solution architects and engineers can assist with network design and deploy new equipment with minimal business disruption. Let us walk you through your network refresh project and implement a modern solution that’s faster, more agile and more secure.