The primary elements that hinder an organisation’s efficiency in managing applications and services from a network perspective are discussed in this research conducted by analyst Jim Frey. These include changes to applications and infrastructure that aren’t properly documented or controlled; insufficient coordination between support teams; and also time-consuming troubleshooting and root cause analysis.
These issues come down to one single aspect: how proactive your internet service provider (ISP) is. Connectivity solutions aren’t all the same, and some adopt a more reactive disaster management approach, rather than a proactive approach. While being proactive when it comes to problem-solving is a necessity for businesses seeking a resilient network, your internet service provider needs to be proactive in other ways too, especially when it comes to planning for your future.
What you need to ask yourself
As your small business continues its growth trajectory, what you require from your ISP changes. In addition to this, technology is constantly advancing and so are connectivity solutions. What this means is that, instead of changing ISPs as you go along, you should be effectively forecasting your business needs and selecting an ISP that is most aligned with these needs. Yes, your business only has a number of employees at the moment, but you might get a larger number of employees in an unexpected turn of events, such as a merger or sudden growth spurt. The question is, is your network provider equipped to handle this and keep you connected? To effectively choose a resilient and proactive ISP, first determine the answers to the following questions:
How many users do you have and what are their online tasks?
The number of employees your business has and the level of their online tasks will determine the bandwidth they will use. For example, designers and developers may need more bandwidth to work with and upload large files and images while maintenance personnel such as an electrician may only need an Internet connection to access their emails as they will be out on a job most of the time.
What type of connection is suitable for your business?
After determining how much bandwidth your business requires, you can establish what type of internet connection is suitable for your business not only now, but also in the future. Here you also need to factor in whether your ISP will be able to support you should the number of employees grow, file sizes increase, you adopt a VoIP system or you increase your business applications.
Will you need static IP addresses?
Businesses that plan to host their own servers for email, website or Virtual Private Network (VPN) will require static IP addresses and their ISP will need to be able to support this.
What hardware and software does the ISP provide?
It needs to be clear what hardware and software will be provided by your ISP, as certain hardware elements like routers and switches for the internet connection can be expensive to purchase and costly to replace, maintain and update.
Does your ISP protect you?
Internet connectivity is enough of a concern, without the added worry of privacy and security. What security measures does your internet service have in place for data protection and security?
Are there upgrades to keep up with advancements?
While the needs of your small business keep changing, so does technology. Your ISP needs to be effectively servicing your business by making sure you’re always connected and updated. The connectivity solution you initially signed up for may now be slow and inefficient, in which case you either need to be able to upgrade or change to something else such as ADSL or fibre.Finding the right internet provider
After you have determined exactly what your business needs, you simply need to select an ISP that meets your requirements. This way you will be securing not only your internet connectivity, but also your success for the future.
What sets Ignite apart from most internet and communication technology providers is that our ecosystem of products and services contains everything you may need, enabling us to provide you with a comprehensive bundled solution. From super fast fibre to swift and affordable capped DSL , we can provide you with the right connectivity solution for your business. We can also set you up with static IP addresses, professional email, as well as security services which range from onsite firewall to secure cloud backup. In addition to that, there are no long term commitments or contracts and you can cancel or change your service at any time, enabling you to choose a solution which can be altered as your business grows.
For more helpful advice on choosing an ISP that meets all your needs, look at our checklist on what to consider when choosing internet providers.