NetworkTigers advises on how to reduce network upgrade costs.
Network infrastructure can be costly to manage and upgrade, making it difficult for businesses to determine how to minimize the cost of network upgrades. Companies looking to enhance their network setup should evaluate their current infrastructure to determine the changes they can implement to eliminate costly expenses.
Fortunately, new technologies, automation, and managed service providers allow businesses to reduce costs. Automating network management and control and knowing the total cost of ownership and personal device usage can help you significantly cut costs.
5 ways to reduce network upgrade costs
While your enterprise’s network may check the boxes for high performance, capacity, and availability, you should consider ways to minimize network expenses. Here are strategies you can put in place to bring down the cost of network upgrades.
1. Understand the cost of ownership and integrate new solutions
It’s crucial to understand your software and hardware plus their Total Ownership Cost (TOC) so that you analyze the following key factors when it comes to costs:
- Network maintenance expenses – Network maintenance, including support, hardware maintenance, monitoring, and network downtime are huge costs for most companies. Evaluate these expenses to know where they’re coming from and how to minimize them. For instance, you can install servers with management and remote upgrade options or new monitoring software.
- Network management cost vs hardware cost – As network hardware becomes outdated, it costs more to manage and maintain. Keep an eye on the increasing cost of ownership and replace hardware when maintaining it becomes too expensive than replacing it.
- Direct expenses – Assess hardware to see if newer solutions can reduce costs. For instance, using cloud security or cloud servers in remote locations or switching to SD-WAN instead of WAN can offer considerable savings.
- Network complexity expenses – If your network is more complex, it may require more staff and maintenance time. You can add redundancy to minimize local strain on hardware and prevent downtime or analyze where and how to simplify your network.
2. Monitor and automate your network
Network monitoring and management are the most time-intensive tasks for IT administrators. Enterprises can reduce operational costs by automating essential network processes such as deploying, testing, managing, and configuring network-based devices.
Automation also enhances network reliability, minimizes human errors, and enables networks to handle workload better. Businesses should adopt automation processes and tools that can be customized easily to promote efficiency and suit future needs.
Organizations should go for tools that enable health measurements for servers, live monitoring, and flagging real-time triggers and automatic redirects. Most companies do not manage full-time network monitoring due to exorbitant costs. Integrating software or switching to an MSP can minimize monitoring expenses while alerting IT personnel of network usage and overload for further optimization.
3. Create a cost-saving network vendor plan
If you work with several vendors, they can make you incur a lot of expenses. While working with one vendor is not advisable as it may not offer a perfect full-package solution, partnering with many vendors is not a good idea. Here are two costs you should review:
- Subscription costs – It’s essential to assess the real costs of subscription fees for your network with management and maintenance differences accounted for because subscription fees add up when you’ve several subscriptions. If you’re not utilizing everything in a package, switch to another package that costs less.
- Vendor costs – Evaluate vendor contracts to see the services you’re paying for. For example, you’re likely to pay the same amount to several vendors if you hire different vendors to maintain cables and servers. To reduce unnecessary expenses and the cost of management, switch to one ICT provider who can move you to a single contract and contract everything for you.
Any vendor plans you adopt should be based on ease of replacement, application support, and integrations. Your vendor strategy should also avoid vendor lock-in and manage redundancies.
4. Build your network based on your application needs
Most companies design a network around their needs and expand on it slowly as their needs change. Unfortunately, this approach can result in server bloat with a complex architecture. Performing a network-needs analysis can help you know what you need.
Applications are the most crucial aspect of your network. The network allows your workforce to work on applications and meets those crucial needs first then secondary needs like device usage or print later. If network upgrades are meant to contribute to business goals, they should be geared toward enabling applications.
5. Work with a managed network services provider
Most organizations invest in maintaining and managing their servers, hardware, and network team. This can be a huge mistake since your ability to maintain a network is lower than that of a provider specializing in networks. Again, any specialist you hire may have to test and identify new problems through trial and error and you may have to spend money on training to upgrade to new technologies.
Outsourcing to a managed services provider means reducing those costs. Businesses working with network vendors can get recommendations on enhancing their setup to eliminate unnecessary costs and minimize maintenance tasks. The right network infrastructure allows organizations to focus on their main business objectives, which boosts profits and promotes organizational productivity.
Managed network service providers help reduce costly downtimes by identifying problems as they arise and offering on-site assistance. If you’re interested in working with an MNSP that can continually monitor your servers and network infrastructure to identify where upgrades can be made so that you reduce network costs, speak to an expert today.
Before implementing any network solution, running a needs and cost analysis is crucial. However, most enterprises can benefit from restructuring vendor contracts, minimizing manual work for network maintenance, simplifying networks, and reviewing cost sources.