Balancing Mobile Network Management Priorities

By: Larry Loeb| - Leave a comment

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As mobile devices expand their computing power and other capabilities, the networks that feed them data and information will have to advance, as well. Strategies and practices that worked in the past may no longer be relevant today. But with a trusted networking services partner, the promise of better, more productive network management can be fulfilled for an enterprise.

Not All Businesses Have the Same Priorities

What does your business do, and how does it do it? How do you interface with your customers? What industry are you in? What is the size of your organization? Looking at how a business and its customers interact helps reveal what the most important priorities for your business will be.

For example, if the Internet is becoming an important way for a business to transact, it follows that the business’s networks must be able to process those transactions. Exactly how a network can lead to that business goal can get very complicated, however. This is where the advice of a network consulting partner can prevent unneeded complexity or costs in the development of the necessary networks.

Similarly, global businesses have global supply chain issues; they need to be able to draw from multiple global sources in their networks and integrate them all. Managing a network with the reach required to enable that kind of integration is no simple matter.

Mobility and Networking

Enterprise networks must be able to connect to mobile devices directly, a given in the new bring-your-own-device (BYOD) universe. Mobile collaboration between users improves enterprise agility and business processes. But as users roam between corporate WLANs, cellular networks and Wi-Fi hotspots, the security of a network design becomes a major consideration. Automated network access control (NAC) tools can help an IT department establish the rules of how a network will connect to personal and corporate devices, as well as to various devices found in the workplace of the future.

Disparate devices can also cause different bandwidth requirements to evolve in a network. Fortunately, it is possible to start small and add bandwidth as it becomes necessary — but the network bandwidth elasticity needed to accommodate mobile devices has to be built in from the get-go.

Network Management and Operations

After the network’s design is finalized, operating it could well become a problem for an enterprise. Increases in staffing may be needed to support the network’s new features. Training and support for existing employees can add to overhead, as well.

By outsourcing network operations, an enterprise may find that total cost of ownership for the network is reduced. Outsourcing the network’s operations may also provide access to resources like a world-class network operations center, which are frequently run by vendors but would simply be too expensive for an individual business to create and staff by itself.

Assuring network uptime can also come into play here. This can be one of the biggest priorities of the entire network solution, depending on the business case. For those businesses that need connectivity to operate, assuring an uninterrupted network may indeed be the primary priority of the design. Handing the reins of network operation to professionals who do nothing but make networks work could then be the smartest choice.

Network design will always be a balance of factors. What they need to do, what they will cost and how they stay in operation are just some of the priorities that must be balanced to create results that will positively serve the enterprise.

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