A company’s IT and network needs change and develop over time. As your company grows, your IT system must evolve along with it – which accounts for why small business IT spending is on the rise. But how do you know when it’s time to upgrade your IT network, and why is it so important to ensure that your IT systems are fit for purpose?
Why you should upgrade your IT network
Upgrading your IT network helps ensure that:
- Security breaches and cyberattacks are less likely;
- You minimize time wasted on sluggish systems, and IT crashes; and
- You have a system in place that you can rely on.
When to consider a network upgrade
Luckily, there are a few clear signs that it’s probably time to upgrade your IT network.
Your business is outgrowing your resources
When your business grows, your IT network must be able to handle:
- More employees
- An increase in communication volume from customers, business partners, and other sources
- More diverse applications, channels, and service offerings
- Greater data processing and computing requirements
- Growing risk of data breaches and cyberattacks
Additional networking equipment will help manage the increased data traffic and the growing workload.
Your wireless performance is decreasing
Increasing numbers of businesses rely on wireless networks for their daily operations. However, when more people are accessing these networks than you originally anticipated, the network slows down and underperforms.
If your office space grows in size, or you’ve employed new personnel or data-heavy applications, consider upgrading your wireless access point (WAP).
Data storage is limited
A tell-tale sign that you should upgrade your IT system is running low on data storage space. Steps you can take to expand your storage capacity include:
- Upgrading hardware memory
- Storing data on portable devices
- Using cloud-based and wireless data solutions
Generally, cloud and wireless solutions offer the most secure and cost-effective options to improve your data storage capacity. So it may be helpful to consult your IT service provider for input and advice on your next steps.
Computers are running slow
Although this is one of the most obvious signs that an IT network needs upgrading, it’s also frequently overlooked until there is a problem.
Slow computers eat into your productivity and cause endless amounts of frustration in the workplace. Sluggish systems not only directly affect your profitability but they can also limit your results and even put data at risk if your system or application crashes during an important project.
When your computers are running slower than usual, or your employees complain that they’re struggling with an outdated system, it’s time to listen and upgrade your network before your systems become vulnerable to cyber threats.
Cybersecurity measures are outdated
If your IT system needs an upgrade, you may be noticing that your cybersecurity protection isn’t fit for purpose. You may have experienced one or more issues or incidents that should always be explored:
- A security breach
- Data loss
- Slow or crashing computers
- Increased downtime
Even if you haven’t experienced any of these IT network problems, cyber threats are constantly evolving. They’re increasingly sophisticated to seek and exploit vulnerabilities you haven’t found yet.
If you haven’t upgraded your IT network in a while, it’s time to consider an overhaul to gain the latest protection against internal gaps and external threats.
You can no longer manage your existing IT network
Possibly the least obvious sign that you need an IT upgrade is your inability to properly manage the IT network on your own.
As your business grows and your IT systems become more complex, it’s easy to become overextended, overcome and overwhelmed. You may not know exactly how to manage your evolving IT needs or where to start. Hiring IT specialists is a great way to get the most out of your existing IT system, plan a sensible transition, and identify outdated equipment before it causes problems.
For more information on everything from IT service management to protecting your team and your customers from security breaches, contact us today about partnering for a better business network.