Have you ever experienced a computer glitch? It’s a startling reminder of just how dependent we are on technology today. Without your desktop, laptop, or smartphone, you feel incomplete and incapable of finishing any task. If a single computer breakdown can cause that much anxiety, what would happen if your company's IT network were to go offline?
A greater reliance on technology
Businesses require people to communicate and coordinate with one another as well as manage and execute tasks. Technology helps businesses be more efficient; thus, technology needs to be in tip-top shape.
A few years ago, business tools like computers, mobile phones, fax machines, photocopiers, printers, scanners, etc. were independent of one another. Today, computers are linked to intelligent printers/scanners that can also talk to smartphones. All of those are part of your network infrastructure.
What is network infrastructure?
Network infrastructure comprises hardware and software assets. These enable connectivity, communications, operations, and network management.
Your network infrastructure is the backbone of your business operations. From client acquisition to client retention to maintaining client records and processing customer orders — the efficiency of your operations depends on how strong and reliable your network infrastructure is built.
The importance of a reliable network infrastructure
With a reliable network infrastructure, your business can gain new customers and retain current ones. If you have a stockpile of products, you can use software to oversee your inventories and order supplies when you’re running low. You can manage your sales and distribution better, making sure correct orders go out to the right customers.
Today, you can even deliver your products in digital format. A lot of marketing and advertising is done online. And you can monitor your employees’ attendance so that payroll can properly compute how much they’ll get on their next payslip.
These are just some examples of how a good, well-thought-out network infrastructure can improve efficiencies and the bottom line of any business. Conversely, if you have an unreliable network, the costs to your business are heavier than you think.
#1 The cost of reduced efficiency and productivity
The biggest effect will be a marked reduction in your company’s efficiency and productivity, due to the following:
- Lost data – Data may not be saved properly; it can be stolen or hacked if network security is compromised.
- Delayed access to data – When the network capacity and bandwidth aren’t up to speed, slow responses lead to loss of business opportunities.
- Delays in customer orders – An underperforming network means delayed or slower processing of customer requests.
- Unable to check inventory – Having an accurate inventory is essential to any business. Your sales, bookkeeping, operations, job scheduling, etc. will fall apart if your network is down.
- VoIP affected – A Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system has many features that are essential for business productivity. An unreliable network means customers won't be able to reach you by phone or have difficulty connecting to customer service.
#2 The cost of increased vulnerability
A network infrastructure should not only be optimally configured to ensure an interconnected, reliable communication path and services; it should also be secure. There are many ways in which cybercriminals can attack your network by exploiting weaknesses in the system. Any system that’s unsupported or obsolete doesn’t receive the necessary updates and patches to protect it from attacks, making it even more vulnerable.
If a disaster (natural or man-made) occurs, an unreliable network infrastructure makes it more difficult to recover your data and keep you workers productive.
#3 The cost of increased dissatisfaction
Earlier we talked about how inefficiency leads to a drop in customer satisfaction and a loss of repeat customers. But an unreliable network infrastructure also impacts employee satisfaction.
If your workers cannot easily access information necessary to complete their job, and if they find it difficult to contact clients, coworkers, and customers, they will have a harder time serving their customers, which leads to bad reviews and loss of clients and sales. These in turn will increase your staff’s frustrations.
The benefits of a holistic approach by experienced experts
Designing and implementing a network infrastructure requires a holistic approach, with in-depth knowledge of IT and your company’s needs. That’s why it makes sense to approach our experienced experts at Hudson Valley IT Services. Whether it’s cybersecurity, data backup and disaster recovery, data compliance, hardware tips, and even IT consulting, we take a proactive, fully managed approach to IT services. Let us help you grow your business — contact us today.
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