IT has always been a complicated affair - in 2020, and moving into 2021, it’s only getting trickier. With so many people working from home, there’s never been a better time for a network assessment.
What is a network assessment, exactly? It’s an evaluation of your entire IT infrastructure, usually conducted by a third-party. The assessment helps you understand your network as-is; it’s followed with a number of recommendations for ways you could improve your network.
Why network assessments are important
Most companies don’t have a top-down networking strategy - things are typically done in an ad hoc manner. Need a new printer? Buy one, add it to the network. New employee? Get them a computer, add it to the network. The advantage of this style of networking is that it’s adaptable - the disadvantage is that your network starts getting away from you.
The flaws of this style of networking have been exacerbated by the rapid migration to work-from-home; there are companies who have people using their home PCs to work from home. This lack of standardization can lead to unnecessary costs and security risks.
What network assessments evaluate
Network assessments evaluate all kinds of different things, from how quick your connections are to potential security vulnerabilities. You’ll get a full-fledged map of your network, showing you how everything connects together. This map can help you spot things like connectivity issues and forgotten firewalls. Network assessments can also help you find:
Devices with outdated operating systems - have you updated to Windows 10 since Windows 7 end-of-life?
Other unpatched/unsupported software
Improperly configured password settings
Hardware issues (in switches, access points, etc.)
Your bandwidth demands
A wide variety of security risks
This evaluation is powerful because it only brings up actionable problems. While people with an IT background might know what to do with that information, for most, the assessment alone is about as good as a doctor giving you a diagnosis, but with no treatment plans. Fortunately, the assessment doesn’t end here.
Network assessment findings
Your network assessment will come with actionable tactics you can employ to improve network security, reduce your costs, and increase your capacity. These suggestions might include upgrading or replacing old systems - they might involve doing away with unnecessary pieces of equipment entirely.
The goal of network assessments is to find as many efficiencies as possible, and that might mean consolidating some of your infrastructure. It may also mean taking steps like network segmentation in order to improve security. No matter what the advice is, you can discuss the findings with the company who provided the assessment in order to get a cost-benefit breakdown.
We’re one of the Winnipeg IT companies that conducts network assessments. Get in touch with us; we’ll help you evaluate your network. Our evaluations come with no obligations - if you choose not to implement any of our recommendations, it’s completely up to you.