How to select the right network for your business
Networking products are the most important technologies your business will purchase. Routers, switches, and wireless access points literally make business possible in today’s data and technology-driven world.
To shed some light on networking products and how businesses can select the right network for their needs, we spoke with CDW Canada. CDW Canada was recently named the Cisco Meraki Partner of the Year, and the company consistently ranks among Canada’s best IT resellers.
Jump to the full interview with CDW here.
What myths about networking solutions would you like to dispel? What should small and mid-sized business owners know instead?
CDW Canada: The first myth is that cloud or outsourced networking solutions are unsafe. The reality is that products such as Cisco’s Meraki MX line are purpose-built with security in mind.
The second myth is that updating your network is expensive and complicated. By using cloud-based networking products, a business actually reduces hardware and operational costs through simplified network management, implementation, and integration.
The final myth is the belief that moving to cloud-based networking will result the loss of IT jobs. In truth, the simplicity and speed that solutions like these provide allows IT professionals to focus on strategic projects that are more meaningful to the business. This video illustrates how Cisco Meraki products make it easier for IT professionals to get their jobs done.
What are the signs a business owner should look for that indicate their technology infrastructure is no longer meeting their needs?
CDW Canada: Warning signs that business owners should watch for include how long it takes for the network to perform basic tasks such as access internet pages and send emails. This is called network lag, and it’s a big sign your network as-it-stands is overwhelmed.
Businesses should also listen for employee complaints about being ‘kicked off’ the network or being ‘dropped’ form the network – when suddenly their emails won’t send or they cannot connect to company Wi-Fi.
The last sign to watch for is an increase in operational costs. If you find that you, your IT team, or your IT partner is spending more time (and money) troubleshooting and performing maintenance on your network technology, it’s time to consider upgrading your infrastructure.
What do you tell organizations that are skeptical about using cloud-based networking products?
CDW Canada: You won’t even know you are using cloud solutions. There is no difference in the functionality and user experience between cloud and on-premises networking products. It’s as though everything is running in their server closet, and data is secured with the right technology (such as Cisco Meraki MX products).
Other benefits of cloud-based networking products includes a simplified cost structure, automated maintenance and upgrades, and easier management. Location of users is also not as important when you use cloud-based networks – the cloud is everywhere, so all employees have the same experience.
For businesses that believe their applications are too specialized and must run on-premises, there are hybrid cloud options they can explore that will deliver similar benefits.