As we (thankfully) close the accounts for 2021, it’s time to think about how best to promote business growth in the New Year. In this article, we offer five proven network technologies and strategies that can bring more speed and agility to most small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), perhaps even while reducing costs.
Think of them as your computer New Year’s resolutions.
1. Investigate Wi-Fi 6
Wi-Fi networks are now essential to the business, with employees and customers expecting fast and reliable connections wherever they are and whatever device they use. This is the challenge that Wi-Fi 6 is designed to meet.
Originally known as 802.11ax, Wi-Fi 6 includes features that both reduce bandwidth contention between devices and allow up to eight devices to transmit simultaneously, each on a dedicated channel. It supports speeds of up to 10 Gbps (thanks to 1024 QAM) and reduces congestion by allowing inactive devices to remain inactive longer than previous iterations of 802.11. Wi-Fi 6 enabled access points allow networks to more efficiently handle different types of traffic, from HD video streaming to shorter packets for voice and data, without sacrificing performance for any of them.
2. Explore IoT technology
As W-Fi 6-enabled networking technology reduces competition for bandwidth, it has become increasingly essential to support both IoT applications and multiple high-bandwidth devices on a single. network.
IoT applications that apply to SMBs include perimeter cameras and asset control systems to help detect and prevent building intrusions and resulting losses. Other use cases include sensors for inventory and asset tracking.
3. Strengthen cybersecurity defenses
However, as we become more connected through IoT devices and other technologies, we are also opening up to new cyber threats. While a good security architecture has many elements, a good place to start is the concept of Zero Trust. As the name suggests, Zero Trust assumes that all users and devices on the network are hostile and must be carefully vetted before they are allowed to join the network and gain access to corporate resources.
The good news is that many of the crucial elements of Zero Trust can be found in the same equipment that allows access to the network. Aruba wireless access points (APs), for example, support traditional network segmentation policies and access control lists as well as ongoing monitoring and enforcement of security policies. But they also offer a path to a true zero trust security model as business needs change.
4. Enable scalability
Your business is likely to expect growth in 2022, so your network and other IT infrastructure will need to evolve accordingly. This requires planning, whether it’s the ability to add capacity to your wired or wireless networks (or both), expand compute and storage capacity, or increase your defenses. security. By keeping scalability in mind when making your hardware and software investments, you’ll be able to seamlessly meet demand.
5. Turn to the cloud
The good news is that SMEs don’t have to go it alone to implement many of these technologies. Cloud-managed network services make it easy for SMBs to meet their exact requirements for scale, security, connectivity levels and more, even as needs change.
Cloud-based network management solutions help streamline IT workflows as well as simplify deployment, troubleshooting, analysis, and reporting. In short, cloud services allow IT teams in SMBs to reduce the time they spend on day-to-day network operations so they have more time for business-critical growth initiatives. In many cases, you’ll also save money compared to trying to provide the same service with in-house IT staff, hardware, and software.
To learn more about the technologies that can prepare your business for a productive and successful 2022, visit Aruba’s Network Solutions for Growing SMBs.
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