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Why do Businesses Need an IT Network?

When you have a business to run, the last thing you have time for is to learn about the entire information technology (IT) industry. At VGM Forbin, we often see small businesses where the owner or one-person IT team is overwhelmed and overworked. Instead of overloading yourself or your IT team with security, compliance help desk tasks, your business can shift to one IT network for the entire company. Keep reading to learn about the basics of IT networks for business and what we typically recommend.

Personal vs. Managed IT Networks

At the most basic level, an IT Network is a group of one or more pieces of hardware and software. A personal network amounts to only one piece of individualized hardware or software. So, if you have 10 employees that all bring their own computers to work, there are 10 personal networks. This means there are 10 different devices that you or your IT team will need to know how to fix and protect for security and compliance.

A managed IT network, however, is much easier to maintain for a business of any size. The network can be managed by your IT team or an IT vendor. Getting a managed network set up typically involves purchasing standardized hardware and software for easier management. When your team uses the same equipment, it’s much easier to maintain and when all employees are on the same software, it’s much easier to monitor.

Managed Networks Include:

  • One dashboard to monitor all devices and the software on each of them
  • Managing firewalls and switch stacks to change policies for everyone from one place
  • Firewalls: blocks employees from going to specific sites, helps people remote in
  • Managed switch stack: access to switch from a dashboard to another
  • Better snapshot of entire company for IT team

What You Pay for with a Managed Network

It’s easy to understand paying for hardware when you invest in standardized equipment, but managed IT networks are so much more than that. Let’s look at what you actually pay for when you hire a vendor to manage your business’s IT network.

  • Computer hardware
  • Subscription for the hardware to work
  • Time for the IT partner to set up network and migrate systems
  • Time for the IT partner to monitor security and compliance

Basic Recommendations

If you’re on a budget, you don’t necessarily need to buy a subscription for the hardware that is purchased. However, without the subscription it is much more difficult and time consuming for an IT team to manage the hardware. So, you may end up paying more for an IT vendor’s time to troubleshoot and fix issues. With this in mind, our basic recommendations include:

  • Purchase hardware + subscription if your company has 10+ employees working in the office and/or multiple locations
  • Maintain a five-year hardware lifecycle for firewall and managed switch stack. After five years, it’s time to update your hardware systems

Forbin specializes in providing managed IT services to businesses of any size. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help your business, complete the contact form below to connect with one of our account executives.