A high-performing network is integral for the maintenance of a functioning IT infrastructure in any modern company. It helps facilitate effective business communications and promotes synergy between systems. Therefore, it’s no exaggeration to say that a poorly functioning network can severely disrupt business operations or even drive a company to a standstill.
Network problems are a constant issue in most companies and network managers often find themselves trying to untangle complex problems. Simply put, the business runs on the network, and if the network is compromised, so is the business. Fortunately, there is a pretty simple solution for all of this—investing in a network performance solution.
A network performance solution follows a continuous integration approach when it comes to dealing with potential network issues. It will constantly monitor the processes of your network, gauge its performance, and keep an eye out for potential threats. If your network performance is not optimal or if there has been a security breach, your network performance solution will immediately notify your IT personnel. As such, opting for such a solution ensures that your business is able to correctly identify network problems and provide expedient solutions for them.
Now, there are many different network performance solutions to choose from, and choosing one that aligns with your business needs can be challenging at first. So, here are seven factors to consider when choosing a network performance solution for your business.
1. Understanding Your Requirements
To start off with, it’s worth asking yourself if your business should be spending capital on paid software when there are free options available to you. Indeed, there are many open-source network monitoring software options that you can integrate into your business for free. Of course, being free tools, these often come with limited features, so you’ll need to string together several such tools to reach complete functionality.
As detailed earlier, a high-functioning network is crucial for efficient business operations. For instance, if you want to improve your call center optimization, you need a high-functioning network to ensure uninterrupted communications. As such, it’s always a safe bet to opt for a paid solution that comes with all the essential features. What you’re looking for is a product that monitors all devices, systems, and applications on a unified interface that’s easy to interact with.
You should also keep an eye out for solutions that offer real-time alerting capabilities. After all, it simply isn’t practical to plant someone in front of a screen to constantly check for network problems. Instead, invest in a network monitoring solution that sends instant alerts to the relevant parties in the event of a network error.
2. Ease of implementation
Once you have identified a few products that align with your requirements, it’s time to consider how easy each will be to integrate into your business. The ease of deployment is one of the most crucial factors to consider when choosing a network performance solution. You may have singled out a feature-rich option, but it won’t be an effective solution if it’s difficult to set up and roll out.
When deciding on what tool to go with, carefully assess what your team will need to do to implement it properly. It’s possible that certain tools will require you to provision servers, create databases, and complete other prerequisites before they become functional. All this should be taken into consideration before you finalize your purchasing decision.
3. Ease of Use
Usability is what sets apart a truly effective network performance solution from a standard one. If the reports and analysis your tool generates are clear and concise, it’ll help you identify potential issues accurately. Likewise, if your chosen tool has an interface that’s easy to navigate, you’ll have a much easier time resolving all your network issues.
Keep in mind that the whole point of investing in a network performance solution is to minimize the time and effort it takes to identify and troubleshoot network errors. As such, the importance of usability when it comes to selecting your tool cannot be understated. You can even employ a manual QA tester to help gauge the usability of your chosen tool.
Any business that’s successful is expected to grow with time, and your network requirements will grow with it. Whether it’s the introduction of a new department or a novel data collection system, more devices, users, and traffic will wind up being connected to your network. As this expansion occurs, it’s vital that your network performance tool is able to scale alongside it.
What you’re looking for is a tool that can maintain its data collection and error reporting capabilities regardless of the constant growth, your network will experience as the years progress.
5. Security and Encryption
As the frequency of cybercrime increases, malicious actors are always on the lookout for pathways they can exploit to get their hands on your data. Although unlikely, your network monitoring tool can be one such pathway that they can target. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to pick a tool that comes with strong encryption.
This goes doubly for companies that work in sectors like finance and healthcare. These industries usually have strict compliance standards when it comes to data management and session security. So, in order to avoid unnecessary penalties, opt for a reputed software monitoring vendor that adheres to all the guidelines.
6. Machine Learning Capabilities
Often, network monitoring tools will rely on a static threshold to identify major network issues like memory leaks and high utilization levels. The problem with this system is that it often leads to faulty diagnostics, especially as your company begins to scale upwards.
Opting for a network monitoring tool that incorporates machine learning can help offset this issue. Tools with machine learning capabilities will be able to modify their thresholds based on factors like time zones and business hours.
Finally, it’s worth considering just how much you’re paying for your network performance solution. Most network monitoring tools come with their own licensing structure and vendors may charge based on the number of elements you want to monitor. Likewise, charges may be based on variables like the number of devices or virtual servers connected to the network.
Because of all these variances, it’s a good idea to opt for an all-inclusive package that will monitor all the major elements of your network. It might mean that the initial investment is relatively high, but it’s sure to pay off in the long run.