Having an internet connection go down or slow to a crawl is not only a nuisance, but can grind business operations to a halt, or at best, put a severe damper on productivity. Even a seemingly minute delay can have exponentially adverse effects on your company's effectiveness.
Every extra second of loading time, multiplied by the total number of employees and the many daily operations can eat up several hours of collective work time every single week. We should, of course, exclude the frustrations generated as a result of slow network speed.
What Constitutes a Fast Network?
In perspective, the average broadband DSL service provides speeds anywhere in between 10 to 25 megabits per second (Mbps). Fiber-to-business services, on the other hand, can range from 25 to 300, while some providers can offer as much as 1,000 Mbps.
It's safe to say that with a 1,000 Mbps network speed, your application will run super fast, video streaming will be seamless, and you can use multiple resources at a time without seeing any drop in performance. But the question is whether you need that much speed, or you can achieve the same level of efficiency with less.
It's not all that difficult to determine the actual Mbps your workspace needs. One factor to keep in mind, however, is that the more internet connections you have and the more people are using separate devices at the same time, the higher the Mbps connection you will need.
The first step is to check your monthly statements from your Internet Service Provider (ISP). They should clearly state how many Mbps you are getting. Once you have this information, you should run a simple speed test to determine the actual performance of your connection. If the numbers don't add up, contact your ISP to see what the issue is.
Most commonly, however, a slow network speed may be caused by factors in your office. Two major factors determine the exact internet speed you need. How many people are using your network and what are they using it for.
Optimizing Your Network Infrastructure
Aside from increasing your internet connection, you can also work to streamline your network's architecture to improve functionality and overall productivity. Here are some examples:
iWAN - Intelligent wide area networks (iWANs) extend the capabilities of traditional WANs by integrating advanced services that benefit remote workers.
SD-WAN - Software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs) will help boost the network performance, as well as the security and scalability of that network. They can incorporate regular broadband as well as other modes of transport and provide various failsafe protections in the event of a slow or downed system.
VPNs - Remote work is an ever more common occurrence across the United States. And while this improves flexibility, it can, however, harm productivity as well as security. To circumvent this problem, you should use virtual private networks (VPNs). These will extend a private connection over a public network, ensuring secure and easy access to essential company apps and resources.
Managing your network and improving its efficiency are investments that will surely increase company productivity. By partnering up with a managed service provider, you will keep your system in top working efficiency while allowing your employees to do the same.
And if you're working from home, check out this in-depth article on how you can boost your wifi signal.