Cloud Networking for Multi-sited businesses Delivers End-to-End Effortless Networking
In today’s digital age, IT teams face increasing pressure to deliver an advanced, coordinated IT capability across all sites in their business, irrespective of how remote or how small they might be. Moreover, this must be achieved without adding further strain on already overstretched IT budgets – investing in more IT and telecommunications, new computers, desk phones, servers and routers. And that’s before even considering the need for a new networking infrastructure, telephone and business grade connectivity lines.
All of this expansion poses a number of technical challenges. Suddenly it isn’t simply a case of providing WiFi, VoIP telephony, security and intranet services such as email and data storage to staff working in a single location. Teams working across different sites need to use the same IT tools running the same communications systems in order to ensure a single, integrated, reliable and secure business network.
In short, the right multi-site connectivity solution for your business needs to be one that solves your current challenges but is also flexible enough for future growth.
Whether a business has multiple locations, remote workers, is looking to improve the network connectivity to accommodate future growth or to centralise IT services, multi-site connectivity must enable employees to work as if they were based in one single location – seamlessly, reliably, and securely.
Challenges Facing Multi-sited Business
The challenge is to deliver state-of-the-art, often complex and inevitably dynamic IT to multiple sites without the need for expensive on-site expertise, or without over-taxing already stretched centralised IT resources. Thankfully, the emergence of cloud managed servers, which provide local advanced IT functionality as a service without the need for a local, expensive resource, are changing the game and opening up new opportunities for the multi-site IT professional.
There are a host of major needs that are driving organisations to review their branch IT strategy, including:
- spiralling remote site support costs
- the cost of the time and travel needed to get to remote sites if on-site support is required
- new customer models, such as multichannel retailing, requiring high-functionality applications
- local data storage requirements where data must be stored and manipulated locally for policy, privacy or control reasons
- data-heavy apps that can’t reliably operate over the network
- the consolidation of network functions
- the Internet of Things where masses of data is being created
For those businesses that need a Wide Area Network (WAN) that stretches across all their many sites, these examples share a common requirement for advanced local functionality, integrated across their estates, without local IT skills to commission, manage or support them. A poorly designed or poorly functioning WAN can lead to inertia within an organisation with new and innovative processes, business models, or customer engagement strategies not being adopted because of the difficulties of making them work across their business.
IT professionals today play a pivotal role in aligning the strategic technical direction of the business with the overall strategic goals of the business, and then developing the roadmap that delivers the optimal programme of change to make it happen.
Legacy WAN Limitations
As businesses have migrated toward cloud-based solutions, many have correctly chosen a cloud-first strategy to solve remote site IT issues but have subsequently struggled to put together a branch strategy that is consistent with the cloud, having left traditional ‘on-prem’ servers at these sites. This has meant that, because the infrastructure used to carry out server maintenance on remote locations is traditionally lacking, the end result is high support costs and low service levels. Many of the new and innovative applications (as well as most legacy ones) still require IT infrastructure on the remote sites.
With any requested change, addition or issue with the network, so many things need to be worked through to ensure everything works efficiently.
- Who needs access? What needs access?
- Which sites? Where from?
- Is there enough bandwidth?
- What about security?
- Are any upgrades required?
- Is an engineer available at site?
The list is endless. Moreover, the work-from-home practices adopted during the current crisis have further exposed the lack of agility of legacy WAN solutions and their ability to rapidly adapt to the new situation. Even traditional SD-WAN approaches still require a lot of engineering to construct and are equally not built for quick change. As a result, many of today’s networks simply do not support some of the most demanding business requirements of the distributed, multi-sited organisation.
Fortunately, the availability of new types of cloud-managed servers opens up new opportunities for effective, cost-efficient and high-functionality remote site IT. With the advent of cloud-managed servers, IT teams can now drive a coherent and aligned strategy across the business.
Benefits of a Cloud-driven Network
Just as many of today’s business applications are hosted in a secure cloud environment, so too can security, routing policies, authentication, access control, application performance optimisation, encryption, threat prevention, network management, visibility and control. In short, a cloud-based network can address all of the problems of a traditional legacy network, whilst providing your business with a dynamic, agile, and secure network.
Not only is this a great solution for the business, but it is enabling IT professionals to meet the common objectives in most multisite organisations:
- providing a consistent technology platform for all locations and businesses
- a single point of management
- a standard technology stack on which to build a consistent set of practices in order to achieve predictable performance
- resilience in order to keep operating, with scale-out architectures with automated failover in the event of hardware faults
- future-proof technology that they can be kept up-to-date over many years and automated software releases that negate the requirement for people to be sent on-site.
Cloud networking introduces a new and exciting way to deploy and manage your multi-sited business. For the SME, it is particularly powerful, delivering enterprise-class network management for WiFi access points, switches, and routers using a cloud infrastructure that requires little capital investment in additional hardware or in IT resources.
Unlike traditional legacy WANs, cloud networking simplifies complex tasks, enabling businesses to deploy new locations in minutes with unprecedented levels of centralised control and network visibility. It also facilitates seamless growth without the bottlenecks usually associated with remote location expansion as it significantly reduces the need for local interventions.
This fundamental shift in cost-effective, high-functionality, small-site IT delivered by cloud-managed networking is a game-changer in the world of branch IT. Looking ahead, this approach for delivering complex local application capability without a corresponding complex IT infrastructure looks set to become the norm.
Syscomm For All Your Networking Needs
Syscomm has been pushing the boundaries of WAN networking solutions for decades, driven by a vision of making it simpler and faster as well as more agile and secure. We believe that a stable, secure and flexible IT infrastructure is the fundamental foundation for successful IT application delivery, and our professional teams strive to build infrastructures with these qualities, opening opportunities for our customers to innovate in their use of IT towards their own business goals.
If you need more information regarding network solutions, contact Syscomm on 0247 771 2000 or fill in the form below.