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  • Writer's pictureRizwan Khan

Tips for leaders of small/medium size organizations on network connectivity

The last four years have forced small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) to adapt and execute a technology transformation roadmap so their businesses can survive, operate, and thrive in this new digital economy.

One thing is clear for businesses looking to grow in this new digital norm; connectivity should be one of the critical aspects of their technology stack. When it comes to network architecture, speed is everything. Businesses must deliver fast, flexible, scalable, and reliable services. Providing the proper support to applications, end users, multiple sites, and remote workers while keeping workloads manageable and budgets in check can be challenging for SMEs with smaller teams.

The exponential growth of B2C and B2B digital transactions in the past four years has pushed the demand for connectivity and speed for every small and midsize business. With new options emerging to help automate traffic, increase speed, and address security gaps, it is becoming more manageable for companies to meet their fast-changing needs to power their business applications, experiences, and end-user access.

With smaller IT budgets and fewer resources to manage company networks, The overarching question for most technology leaders of small and midsize organizations is how to effectively provide their businesses the needed speed for connectivity with the least disruption. This raises a few other interesting questions, including:

  1. What are the progressive, affordable technologies available in the market?

  2. What are some of the Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solutions available in the market?

  3. What is the right solution for your organization, including managed, co-managed, or DIY SD-WAN?

  4. How do you find a reliable technology partner?

  5. How to provide security for your organization’s network?

Let’s start by answering the most fundamental question what are some of the technologies available in the market today?

5G mobile technology has reshaped the mobile network. Small and midsize businesses are looking closer at their end users’ connectivity needs. Today’s work demands reliable remote access, including video streaming, real-time collaboration platforms, and mobile apps that need cutting-edge bandwidth.

Adopting 5G opens significant possibilities. According to Forbes, “The increased speeds mean that mobile networks will become more usable even than the wired networks running into our homes and businesses. Companies must consider the business implications of having super-fast and stable Internet access anywhere. The increased bandwidth will enable machines, robots, and autonomous vehicles to collect and transfer more data than ever, leading to advances in the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart machinery.”

This led to our second question on how to provide complete connectivity solutions for your business, “What are some of the Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solutions available in the market?” Employees need complete access to telephones, instant messaging, video conferences, and collaboration software. With UCaaS, it’s easy to create flexible, affordable experiences that fulfill these needs. Businesses capture several key benefits by utilizing a UCaaS solution, including lower costs, simpler management, and the ability to configure solutions, making it easier to increase productivity now and in the future. UCaaS infrastructure will enable you to deploy your continuing evolving communications and collaboration strategies with mobility-focused features like the ability to access collaboration solutions from any device.

So, this leads us to the third question, “What is the right solution for your organization, including managed, co-managed, or DIY SD-WAN?” Businesses are increasing their reliance on technology. One area that’s growing in popularity is managed SD-WAN solutions. Software-defined networking allows companies to manage their networks from anywhere via a software solution remotely. SD-WAN enables network administrators to apply rules that help automate traffic flow to priority applications, scale up or down the bandwidth needed across multiple locations, and even help improve security delivery. SD-WAN can be implemented as a self-managed solution, a co-managed option that provides some support but allows your business to retain control, or a fully managed SD-WAN solution that provides full support for most aggressive networking objectives.

Sometimes it is hard for small and midsize organizations to pick the solution that will give them the best ROI. They need an outside partner to help them narrow the solution, leading to our fourth question, “How do you find a reliable technology partner?” The number one pain point for decision-makers in small and midsize organizations is the challenge of assessing and navigating the networking options on the market. You need partners who can help you better define the scope of your current and future networking opportunities and challenges by defining your network and bandwidth needs, finding reliable solutions, and helping you vet vendors that can determine the total cost of ownership. One good news is that ample reputable managed solutions partners, trusted resellers, and consulting services partners are focused on small and mid-size businesses, making it easier to find customized networking solutions for your organization’s needs.

These modern technologies have made connectivity for SMBs manageable but, at the same time, have created more security vulnerabilities that must be protected, leading to our last crucial question, “How to provide security for your organization’s network?”

The cybersecurity landscape is increasingly complex, and more businesses are turning to a new generation of tools to help them manage emerging threats. Several solutions layer cybersecurity intelligence directly into the network architecture. One of these solutions is managed cybersecurity services, which provide excellent protection, visibility, and oversight against threats around the clock. These tools are becoming more advanced with the integration of machine learning that can constantly adapt the solutions and monitoring provided to offer more customized, targeted defenses against the threats most relevant to your business’s unique needs.

New networking approaches and technologies will emerge as businesses face increased demand for fast, reliable, and affordable bandwidth. Technology leaders of small and midsize organizations should focus on the growing trends to find growth opportunities and prioritize future investments.

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