Good network performance is no longer just a nice thing to have, where IT specialists are seen as an optional extra for a company.
With most businesses undergoing some form of digital transformation over the last few years, network optimisation for better performance and availability is at the core of operational productivity and success. We explore why the network has become so critical to today’s organisations and how it supports their business objectives.
The sudden switch to remote and hybrid working patterns
Although network performance and availability was already featuring in boardroom meetings and on c-suite strategies, the pandemic and resulting lockdowns brought network optimisation abruptly to the attention of every office worker in the country.
Forced to work from home and access resources remotely, employees had the realisation that good network performance and availability allowed them to do their job effectively and continue to meet their targets; not to mention home-schooling their children and accessing information and entertainment out-of-hours!
The necessity of remote work meant organisations needed to explore the capabilities of their network and infrastructure to ensure everyday activity could continue and productivity could remain at a level that kept them afloat.
Video calls became the norm, where good network availability supported employees' communication. Workflows, documents and assets needed to be accessed from home, increasing traffic flow and demanding better network performance. IT departments faced pressure to deliver network optimisation that allowed 24/7 access, with downtime being wasted time and a positive user experience being the yardstick for a high performing network.
Partway into 2022, many things returned to normal. But thanks to network optimisation, organisations have realised what can be achieved from home, and many have adopted flexible, hybrid working patterns.
Employees can now connect from home or at work (or anywhere in between) and carry out their tasks seamlessly, with the network being the beating heart that facilitates this activity.
Network optimisation for multi-site organisations
While many single-site, office-based companies realised the vital importance of network performance at the onset of the pandemic, multi-site organisations had been sharing data and communicating across their locations well before this time, already experiencing how the network supported their productivity and growth.
For example, Hughes Europe partnered with the National Lottery well before the outbreak of Covid-19, enabling its 30,000 plus sites to access secure and reliable connectivity.
For them, avoiding outages and downtime was critical. Excellent network performance and availability supported tens of thousands of simultaneous transactions, ensuring customers could get their tickets as and when needed.
Meanwhile, in the retail sector, we’ve helped companies connect their sites all across Europe, optimising their network to support productivity, cost-efficiency and an outstanding customer experience.
As companies have grown and added more locations, we’ve helped them evaluate their network and its infrastructure to ensure it continues to deliver a high level of network performance and availability.
The digital customer experience
Consumer behaviour has also evolved immensely over the last few years, with digital technology elevating the customer experience both in-store and online.
Retailers are adopting new and emerging technologies to engage their customers and provide the same level of personalisation in-store as they've become used to online.
Retail outlets have become smart stores, where applications, such as customer WiFi and retail analytics, dynamic digital signage and smart lockers, provide customers with enjoyable, memorable and convenient experiences.
All of the new applications leveraged to enhance the customer experience, increase footfall and drive sales, are placing increasing demands on the network.
With applications competing for bandwidth alongside other business-critical processes, network availability and performance need to be optimised to ensure maximum value can be gained from them without disrupting other areas of operational activity.
IoT monitoring and management
In the era of the ‘smart world’, the use of IoT (Internet of Things) technology to facilitate an organisation's operational activity, improve productivity, cost efficiency and safety is now a common occurrence. IoT devices can be used to monitor and manage assets and infrastructure remotely and troubleshoot issues faster and with more ease.
For example, IoT can be used to track products in transit, not only monitoring their whereabouts but also their quality, so their use in the supply chain can be optimised.
The agricultural industry uses IoT to assess temperature, soil conditions and animal health, while the utility industry can access data about line voltages and performances on infrastructure that stretches over huge distances.
Connections can be in their tens of thousands, with the data transferred providing critical information that supports an organisation's activity. The reliability of this connectivity depends on meticulous network optimisation with high-quality performance and resilient availability.
Managed network solutions
Network optimisation is at the core of many of today's digitally-driven businesses. However, the growth in users, applications and traffic has created a great deal of complexity for network managers and IT departments, particularly within multi-site organisations. Managed network solutions can make the process easier, more affordable and more reliable.
As a managed network service provider, we can take care of your network optimisation, ensuring your network’s capacity, availability and performance are at their best. We take a technology-agnostic approach, seeking out the best technology for your organisation’s unique needs and challenges.
With our extensive experience and wide range of high-quality partners, we can deliver comprehensive connectivity solutions for your network that ensures an excellent user experience and the efficiency, ease and agility required to support your growth.