Having a network can become a competitive advantage when companies use it to increase employee productivity and open their business to new streams of revenue. Here's a list of the benefits a network brings; if three or four address pain points in your company, you're probably ready to deploy a network in your company.
1. Centralized IT administration: It's much easier and more efficient to manage the many computers that even a small company has from a single platform than it is to manage each of them individually. Also, IT administrators can remotely troubleshoot problems on computers across the network rather than doing it in person.
2. Added IT security: Most network devices, including routers, have built-in security features like firewalls, which make them a much safer way to get users online than a modem. Also, backups performed over the network add a dimension of data security, and servers that are in a locked room can't be stolen or otherwise accessed.
3. Better performance: Servers designed to support a network are usually optimized for better performance, which is particularly useful for Web servers and email servers. When optimized servers are used for file or database servers, they can increase application and data availability, ultimately leading to more productive employees.
4. Centralized backups: Data backups done over a network can be centrally managed and scheduled, which makes them more reliable (not to mention more likely to happen on a regular basis). They can also be saved to an off-site location. This means that your backups are secure and safe from any downtime or disasters at your office.
5. Reduced operating costs: A network lets co-workers share office equipment, like printers, faxes, and storage devices; for instance, this means you can buy just oneor two shared printers for an entire office to use rather than individual printers for each employee who might need one. Similarly, an office can share high-speed Internet access.
6. Better customer service: With a network, customer service reps have easy access to all customer and product information at their fingertips. This lets them be more responsive and offer personalized services to each customer. When your reps are online, they can respond to customer queries by email, via Web-based forms, as well as through chat windows and phone calls.
7. Universal access to business applications: A network gives all users, whether they work in the main office, a remote office or from home, universal access to the same business applications and company information. When you build a network, you also open up the possibilities of deploying advanced communications applications, like VoIP or video conferencing.
8. Real-time insight into the business: Data, including sales figures, incoming orders and more, can be immediately accessed when it's stored on a LAN. This gives management insight into what's happening across the business when it happens, leading to more effective and intelligent decision making.
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