5 Essential Tips To Manage Bandwidth for Your Small Business
Managing bandwidth need not be a challenge. Tips like WAN optimization and other techniques can help maximize your technology investments. Does your small business have the need for high speed bandwidth in your workplace? Do you regularly send and receive large data files to your customers or other business partners? If your company is growing and expanding its workforce, you might have noticed that your network speeds have gradually decreased over time. These reductions in Internet access can sap your productivity levels and have your managers scratching their heads as to how to gain an upper hand on the situation. Fortunately managing bandwidth need not be rocket science. To be fair it probably is very much rocket science, but you don’t need to be a jet propulsion engineer in order to understand and implement some simple, yet effective, techniques. The following 5 tips will have you wrangling your company’s bandwidth and providing the very best working environment.
Bandwidth Management Techniques You Simply Cannot Ignore
- Have a Realistic View Of Your Bandwidth Needs: This can be one of the most confusing concepts of the bunch. Few people outside the industry of providing bandwidth know exactly what it means to have enough pipe speeds to provide for their employee’s needs. The equation is either too little bandwidth or way too much. Of course, as a user on the network, your employee would surely opt for the latter, however, too much speed can cost your company thousands of dollars for little extra productivity. If you take the time to consult with your ISP, or an outside expert, have them survey various aspects of your company’s network needs. They’ll observe operations and determine just what is an appropriate amount of bandwidth for your company to pay for.
- Consider WAN Optimization: Optimizing your wide area networks is usually more suited for the larger entities in the small business arena. For one, you’ll need to actually have a WAN in order to optimize it. If you do, then it would behoove you to consider making it as optimal as possible. WAN optimization will allow you to not only reduce your bandwidth requirements, but provide for increased computer and employee productivity as a result of the various implementations usually associated with the process.
- Realign Your Employee Culture: Other than a little time, this one is really very low cost. Here’s the challenge: most employees that have access to high speed bandwidth at work don’t have anywhere near that level of capacity in their homes. As a result, it can be common place for some percentage of your workers to use their office connections to download personal data. Massive storage devices like thumb drives and external hard drives make it quite convenient to download movies, pictures, music and the like while at work. Then those employees take their data and enjoy it at home. The challenge for your business is that you only see the bandwidth usage spiking without a corresponding increase in productivity. But you still pay for that perk anyway. Try to educate your employees on the pitfalls of this type of activity. Not only will it cost your business money, but it can negatively impact others work experience. The right amount of tact can go a long way towards helping you achieve a good balance.
- Simple Bandwidth Monitoring: It might also behoove you to employ some sort of monitoring processes so you can know exactly what is happening on your internal networks. If you see spikes of activity in bandwidth usage during certain times of the day, you may be able to determine both the cause of the activities as well as how to deal with them.
- Long Term Usage Patterns: You’re going to want enough data to determine what is considered normal usage and when excessive spikes are out of the ordinary. With the use of free and low cost monitoring software, you can track and display network activity over long periods of time. With quick and easy access to this type of data, you are sure to better understand how your company’s bandwidth usage should be shaped.
Ultimately, if you’re not paying attention to the network activities of your employees, you’ll surely be awakened at some point to the escalation of bandwidth costs. Simply applying some of these and other techniques should provide you with the tools, data and knowledge you need to best manage your small business’s bandwidth usage.
About the Author: Andy is an avid blogger and writer, discussing a variety of topics including technology, web design, and web hosting.