Image by macrovector on Freepik
Most businesses will use network technology in some capacity. But do you know how network technology is used and its importance to your business?
What Is Network Technology?
Image by macrovector on Freepik
Network technology refers to the different ways that computers and other devices connect to each other and share information.
Like people talking to each other using phones or chat apps, computers can talk to each other using network technology. This allows them to share files or access the internet.
The Role of Network Technology
Network technology is important because it allows us to work together, share information, and access resources that we might not be able to get on our own.
We can use network technology to access files without having to physically go to another computer. This makes it faster and easier to get things done.
What Are the Types of Network Technology?
Image by Freepik
There are two main types of networks:
Local Area Networks (LANs)
Used in homes, schools, offices, or small businesses to communicate and share files, resources, and printers
Made up of devices such as routers, switches, access points, and connecting cables
Wide Area Networks (WANs)
This "network of networks" reaches beyond your local network, to other cities, countries, and to the internet
WANs allow businesses to connect with other remote networks like other offices, locations, and remote employees, as well as cloud-based resources
Made up of devices such as routers, switches, VPNs (virtual private networks) gateways, servers, and firewalls
Networks can be wired or wireless.
Wired networks are when computers or devices are connected to each other using cables.
Wireless networked devices use Wi-Fi or other wireless signals to communicate with each other.
Which two are NOT considered network technology?
How Do Companies Use Network Technology?
All businesses use network technologies in some capacity, but some companies may have higher needs or requirements depending on their services.
On-Premise vs Digital
Companies that do business solely online will have different network requirements to those that are on-premise "box" stores.
Digital business requirements may include things like:
Cloud-based software or applications
In-person stores and services may use network services to connect and manage:
Credit and debit card payments
Network technology is also used in different ways by your business's staff and customers.
The employees of a company are a group of people working towards a common goal. Network technology allows these team members to:
Communicate with one another
Share files and resources
Collaborate on projects
Network technology helps businesses connect and build relationships with their customers. This may include:
Through a business’s website
Social media engagement
How Are Network Technology Needs Calculated?
Image by victor217 on Freepik
Calculating the network technology needs of a businessinvolves figuring out how many devices will be connected to the network, what kind of tasks they'll perform, and how much data they'll transmit.
A small business with only a few employees at one on-site store may only need a basic network with a few devices. In contrast, a larger business with many employees and more complex tasks may need a more advanced network with more devices and faster speeds.
You'll also want to consider factors like security and reliability. Your business may need to invest in additional network technology, such as firewalls or backup systems, to ensure its network is secure and reliable.
What Are the Benefits of Network Technology?
Image by vectorjuice on Freepik
Network technology is used substantially in everyday life. In business, it's used in operations to:
Work more efficiently and effectively — completing tasks by hand or on paper can be tedious and slow.
Make better decisions — network traffic can be tracked to make informed advertising or product-related decisions.
Provide better service to your customers — by providing websites or online customer services, customers can complete transactions or find information more readily.
These can all lead to greater success and profitability.
What Happens if You Don't Have the Right Tech?
If a business doesn't have the right network technology, it can experience a range of problems.
Speed and Capacity
If the network is too slow or doesn't have enough capacity, it can lead to delays and missed deadlines. This can impact the business's productivity and profitability.
For example, if your staff can't access internal resources, they might not be able to update pricing or complete sales.
If the network is insecure or dated, it can be vulnerable to hacking or other cyber threats. This can put the business's data and sensitive information at risk, which can be damaging to the business's reputation and finances.
Without proper maintenance, the network may also malfunction, leading to the loss of current or potential customers.
Out of Spec
If the network doesn't have the right features or capabilities, it can limit your business's ability to grow and expand.
For example, if an online business’s website can't be upscaled to handle additional visitors, it may miss out on growth opportunities.
Sarah, a small business owner noticed that her company's website crashes frequently during peak traffic hours. What category does this challenge fall under?