The truth is, due to the constantly evolving tech landscape, most network hardware only has a life cycle of about five to seven years. After that, it becomes outdated and unsupported.
Software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) is one solution to that problem. SD-WAN can help SMEs because it needs fewer continuous hardware upgrades. The software-first approach has become so popular that, in most cases, it's considered an IT industry standard.
If your IT team is concerned about security, or you don't even have an IT team, it's time to improve your network infrastructure. Small to medium businesses are ripe for exploitation by cybercriminals.
Enabling smooth, seamless connectivity for remote workers is another benefit of a strong, up-to-date network. As Covid-19 and the shocking number of members of staff who needed to be furloughed indicates, the option of working from home is becoming a future-proofing requirement.
Companies who offer employees the flexibility to work from home, based on specific circumstances, can also cut back on the number of employees' sick days throughout the year. In employee surveys, slow computer performance is a top pain point that inhibits smooth workflow and productivity. So, there are operational benefits to IT evolution, not just technological benefits.
If your company leadership team doesn't know how to improve the IT tech stack in the coming months or years, investing in that knowledge is key.
Good computer-based solutions, applications, dashboards, and industry software can create incredible efficiencies for a business. But, the business needs the IT infrastructure to host that software ecosystem to take advantage of that.
Cloud computing is becoming an emerging success for small to medium businesses. So, finding an IT management service provider who can help support cloud migration becomes a high priority.
Although the cloud is wonderful for a lot of applications, hardware data storage that is on-site or co-located is still a cheaper option in many cases.
Perhaps the only exception is software-based, public cloud storage with a provider like Google or DropBox. But, then companies sometimes have concerns about the ease of employee access and security.
For a smooth migration to a more up-to-date network and style of working, SMEs should find bespoke LAN solutions that are perfect for them.