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Once, business computer networks might have been the luxury of bigger companies, but networking technology is becoming more accessible, meaning that operations of all sizes can start implementing them. When they work well, they allow for better sharing of resources, another layer of security, and a more efficient way for employees to collaborate. However, they don’t all work well. If you’re not prepared for the responsibilities below, you might find your network gives you more nightmares than sweet dreams.

Keep it convenient

As with all digital tools, a network is supposed to make things easier for the business. It’s meant to cut down the amount of time and travel required to share resources to multiple individuals and to give you a place to store all the data and tools the business needs. But it gets inconvenient when, for instance, regular network outages due to human error that could easily be trained out of them or incompatible changes that could be solved by predictive monitoring. Downtime is one of the biggest costs in the business. Not only does it cost you time that could be spent working, but it impacts employee morale and how keen they are to use that network you paid so much for.

Know how to fix it

A lot of people rely on IT experts to set up a business network for the first time. But note that installing the network isn’t enough. Everything fails at one point or another, and the same goes for your network. Many small businesses might not have enough demand to hire a tech guy into their team, but outsourced IT support could give you access to the expertise when you need it and not a moment more. Having someone on call who can readily jump in, investigate, and get your business back online can be crucial. Similar services can also help you spot updates and changes that could make the network run much better, too.

Secure it

This is a necessary step, regardless of how big your network is. There’s a good chance you’re going to keep all kinds of sensitive business information as well as customer or client data on your systems. If so, letting them fall into the wrong hands could make you legally responsible for the consequences. To that end, one tech mistake you can’t afford to make is being lax with security. This includes using firewalls, anti-malware and hacker protection tools and services to keep it safe from intruders. But it also means implementing a set of network usage standards internally in the business, such as a need for stronger passwords, different access levels for different staff members, and rules about not leaving devices logged into the network unattended by any means.

A well-run, safe, reliable business network is most definitely worth all the hassle. Just make sure you’re ready for what that entails. The right choices when setting it up, the talents to keep it running and relevant, and a serious focus on network security can be all you need.