Upgrade Your Office’s Wired & Wireless Networks During COVID-19
At some point in time, every proud member of the older generations will take a moment to offer a reminder to those of a younger generation an optimistic perspective when faced with a challenge. That perspective displays itself in the form of an anecdote about “not realizing just how good (you) have it.” This claim serves as a prologue to a story that starts “…when I was your age…” The narrative shared is frequently about the so-called “good old days” (which to many, seem as though they weren’t all that good). The account assuredly cites an example of how difficult it used to be for someone to perform a routine task. Thanks to the continuing proliferation of modern technological advancements, that task is now quick, easy & simple to accomplish. This concept regarding “everything is so much easier now…” is applicable in all personal and professional settings. But life, and specifically business life, was not always like this.
In The Beginning…
The geographical boundaries that encompass the three Pennsylvania & two New Jersey counties immediately surrounding our Bristol, Pennsylvania headquarters provide an excellent microcosm for the world. Within these five counties alone, there were an estimated 312,306 privately-owned business locations in 2012, which has likely grown in the eight years since this information was collected. There are no reliable statistics for these businesses related to years in operation. However, a conservative guess might suggest that one of every four has been active in business, and at the same location, for at least the last 25 years. This fraction & estimate translates to more than 78,000 or the 312,000 businesses referenced herein. These numbers take on a new level of significance when considering the digital & technological revolutions that have transpired within that same period.
Every company that has been around since the early-to-mid 1990s can recall when organizations functioned successfully without the internet. They also “survived” without wired & wireless networked computer systems, cloud-based applications & storage, and other modern technologies. All of these advancements have become synonymous with, and inseparable from, today’s business operations. Go back just a few more years in time. You can remove all semblances of technology from the equation: mobile phones, fax machines, scanning copiers, and even non-networked computers – none of these existed, at least in mass-market versions. And yet somehow, despite all of these apparent “hardships,” businesses within a stable industry, headed by experienced leaders, and following a well-planned strategy, managed to not only remain solvent but grow & prosper!
But once the technologies mentioned above started developing into the first generation of the mass-market versions we rely upon today, everything changed. Businesses were forced to evaluate their facilities and renovate them to accommodate the advancements permeating every aspect of the “modern business.” For example, for the first iterations of networked data systems to function long before Wi-Fi connectivity became a thing, low-voltage wires needed to be routed to and from every internal device to a central server location. This move allowed all workstations to connect to the same centralized data devices simultaneously. Most businesses have no desire or intention of cutting holes in walls, floors & ceilings to run & conceal these wires. As such, most opted to only install wiring to and from the essential locations & devices.
This “critical” wire-running was a decent solution to meet their current needs. However, it failed to allow for expansion options as the business grew & added employees, and offered zero tolerance for any of the next wave of devices added. Once again, more wires were run to meet the new demand for connectivity. And, moving forward in a growth-oriented direction, expansion of hardwired networks and additions of new devices required even more wires. Soon, these neat, professional wire runs started looking more and more like bowls of spaghetti. Even worse, they went from being “semi-concealed” to the point where “watch your step” became one of the most frequently spoken, and repeated, phrases throughout the office.
Is Your Business Wired For Success?
Everyone thought they would now be “in the clear,” and no longer require additional wiring, once the wireless connectivity solution became prevalent in the early 2000s. Of course, this assumption’s oversight is that wireless routers, access points & Wi-Fi enabled devices require no wires to function. Perhaps this is true from a strictly data-focused perspective, but these devices still need power wires, if no others. Beyond that, if they add to an existing hardwired legacy network, cables must connect the new Wi-Fi devices with the older wired devices & networks. So, one more time, the need for even more wire running was there.
Flash-forward to the most recent five year period. The numbers are staggering: Estimates claim that between wired & wireless devices, there were some 18.4 billion internet-connected devices worldwide in 2018, a number expected to grow by more than 50% to some 29.3 billion devices by 2023. And most of these business-related devices are regularly connected to a” patchwork network” that more than once has been built, rebuilt, expanded, and updated several times over the years. Is it any wonder that a significant number of these networks are anything but reliable? Making matters worse is when we factor the increasing numbers & speed of these devices. Offset those by the piecemeal network data security & firewall platforms needed to serve many of these multi-generational business systems.
If only there were the time & opportunity to get rid of the old and upgrade to the new. And, if possible, without interfering with the employees & network users during their regular business hours & days in the offices!
Welcome to Life Under a Pandemic; a.k.a. “Coronaland”
If ever, there was a better time and opportunity to modernize a business’s data network hardware & infrastructure, cybersecurity, firewall protection, and data storage & recovery platforms and not encounter a high degree of business interruption, is right now. With so many companies allowing employees to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the human activity factor has all-but been removed from the office equation. This situation has created a rare opportunity for businesses to think about their long-term productivity goals, and how their current networks accommodate, or hinder, those goals.
Assume that most of today’s businesses are at least partially reliant upon those “MacGyvered” infrastructures. There seems to be both logic and incentive in place for every business to take a good, hard look at their networks right now. This introspective should happen before any companies return to full office occupancy. Suppose the conclusion drawn from this evaluation is that the current structure is already “failing” to perform as needed. In that case, it is a safe assumption that it will only continue to degrade & interfere with the business’s current & future performance. As such, the time to solve the woes of restricted performance and prepare for the future business needs is right now!
SO; how does a local business of any size or scope proceed with this process, you may ask? Well…
Step 1: Professional Needs Evaluation
Many companies like Shock I.T. offer prospective clients a complimentary evaluation. A detailed checklist for inspecting, identifying, and “scoring” the current business networks is the purpose of this list. This evaluation covers every angle, from the physical infrastructure to the software & security platforms, and every device connected to & from each one. This step allows for a comprehensive “picture” to come together, serving as a guideline for all actions to come.
Step 2: Needs Analysis Report
Upon completion of the evaluation, a report is put together. This report highlights the good, the bad & the ugly for each business. The report will also list in order of importance those items needing the most immediate attention, followed by the lesser needs & business owner’s “wish list” items.
Step 3: Detailed Upgrade Proposals
Could there be any greater disservice to both the company receiving the evaluation and the company performing it if one or more upgrade proposals did not accompany all of this? These proposals will detail all areas to be upgraded, including but not limited to the physical infrastructure and hardware proposed, along with all software, backup storage solutions, cybersecurity and firewall protection platforms, and post-install support & recovery options.
Proposals are customarily presented in a “best/better/good” format, each scaled based on variables like performance, protection, and naturally, the investment required. Shock I.T. is one of the few companies that has successfully designed a project to meet the performance and financial needs of businesses in over 95% of the evaluation/analysis/proposal opportunity scenarios. From our experiences, we are equally confident that we can help your business in much the same manner. Even better, as all steps before an agreement is reached are complementary – as in “no charge” – our question is:
What do you have to lose – beyond what your current network is already losing for you?
One Small Step for Business Owners – One Giant Leap for Business Kind!
You’ve always known what path you wanted to take with your business network and your business. Now that one of the primary hindrances to moving forward is temporarily a non-factor for you and your business, you know what you need to do.
Your business needs the assistance of an experienced I.T. help desk & technical support services agency for your New Jersey or Philadelphia business. Shock I.T. Support will make a difference for you and your team. We’re pros in the outsourced I.T. services space, working with you to keep your business covered in an affordable, effective, and personalized way. Contact us today for a custom,scaled-for-your-business quote and learn more about what our I.T. help desk & technical support services can do for you.