6 Simple Steps to Improve IT Network Performance

A reliable IT network lies at the heart of any organisation. Technical issues, slow performance, or malicious activity can all cause devastating problems for businesses of any size.

Although data breaches and network hacks often grab the headlines, a slow network can arguably be more costly. Slow or under-optimised networks can really limit productivity and, if left unresolved for long periods, amount to an eye-watering total cost. It may not even be that obvious to employees as they get used to slightly slower performances over the years until they finally realise just how bad it had gotten when it gets upgraded and they rediscover the joys of a better network.

Slow connections and networks will eat away the seconds and minutes for basic tasks and when you think about that dead time getting multiplied for every employee over the whole year, the true impact of poor network performance can suddenly feel very real.

In this article, we delve into some ways network performance can be improved. If you’d like to learn more about your overall IT performance, simply get in touch with us here at Three Cherries. We offer a wide range of services and can help you take the gamble out of your IT.

Improving Network Performance

Understand Current Performance/Issues

The best place to start when it comes to improving IT performance is to fully understand the current performance and what issues are present. An IT audit can provide a top-level view of things and help leadership teams gain valuable insights into potential threats to their IT, areas that are slowing things down, and narrow down the root cause of IT frustrations.

Employees may be complaining of slow computers, when in fact, it is an issue with the network (or vice versa). An audit helps to get to the bottom of things and take the guess work out of IT.

Knowing the true cause of any problems will help to find the best solutions and avoid unnecessary expenses (such as new computers for a whole office when that was not actually the problem!).

Usage

Not all IT behaviours have the same impact on the network. Sending an email, for example, requires much less bandwidth than live streaming a video or uploading high resolution images.

In many instances, IT performance can be improved by learning how different ways employees use their computers has an impact on the network.

Better management of draining activities, such as uploading/downloading large files, can help avoid the whole office suffering from reduced performance. Particularly in the current climate with so many teams using live video calls to communicate, reduced performance can often simply be the result of a change in network usage.

Monitoring tools can help you understand exactly what is causing drains on your network to help understand the best course of action.

Compression

Data compression can help improve network performance by reducing file sizes. This helps organisations get the most out of their network and is perhaps a good option for those looking at all avenues before upgrading their network.

VLANs

VLAN stands for “Virtual Local Area Networks” and can be a useful feature for any network. They split the network into more localised sub-networks, helping to ensure the most critical parts of the business get priority.

Not all work/devices carry the same importance, so this helps keep the core elements of a business in full flow, even if the network as a whole is experiencing some difficulties.

VLANs also provide additional security benefits, by acting as another barrier, which can protect more business-critical computers/processes.

Security

Malware brings with it all sorts of problems for IT networks and businesses, one of which is reduced performance.

Suspected security breaches or malware could well be causing performance and speed issues (as well as more serious threats) and would certainly need to be addressed as quick as possible.

A slow network could be the result of malware, so if performance drops and you’re not sure why, IT security is worth looking into.

As discussed in one of our recent blogs, employees working from home can bring with it new security threats so this is definitely something all business owners and leadership teams should be aware of and prioritising.

Maintenance

Like anything, IT networks will eventually become outdated. That super optimised network that was once the very envy of your competitors could soon become a vulnerability. Technology advances quickly and with it, new opportunities to improve performance (as well combat any potential challenges) arise.

Ongoing maintenance and support can ensure there are no sudden surprises or issues. Systems can be monitored closely, and should new technology get brought out, it can be maximised efficiently. This can also be a cost-effective approach to IT too, avoiding any critical issues that require large investments to resolve (not to mention potential downtime that could be extremely costly in any setting, particularly large organisations).

Learn More About Three Cherries

If you need help with IT network performance and telephony services, get in touch with our friendly team here at Three Cherries. Based in Bristol, we’ve got over 20 years’ experience and have the knowledge to help your organisation get more from your IT.

We take the gamble out of your business IT & telephony so you can focus on your business, not worrying about IT problems arising.

Our IT services include home working, school IT, office 365, email management, cyber security, firewalls and back-ups. We can create ongoing support packaging for businesses of any size that best reflect your needs and requirements. From a small office needing support Monday-Friday 9-5, or a multilocation organisation that employs hundreds and requires 24/7 support, we’re here to help.

We also offer IT consultancy on bespoke projects to help guide and navigate your organisation through technical challenges or transitions.

Contact us today.

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