6 Ways to Achieve Operational Simplicity
Networks and network security have gone from simple multi-cell organisms into a supernova of colliding devices. As any network admin can tell you, more users and more devices means more complexity. And as networks quickly inflate they quickly become hard to administer.
This doesn’t have to be the case though. There are ways to simplify your network, in terms of end-user use, network security and network administration. Through concepts like umbrella management policies, automation, cloud software and virtualized devices you can simplify your network and make significant operational gains.
To help point you in the right direction of network operational simplicity (but not overload you) here are some of our preferred ways to simplify your network architecture:
Ways to Achieve Operational Simplicity
- Umbrella Policies and Management
- Third-Party and Cloud Partners
- Disaster Recovery
- Limit Your BYOD
- Virtualize Your BYOD
Umbrella Policies and Management
By combining all your networks—including your wired, wireless and virtual networks—into one master group you can create a master policy that can be more easily administered than multiple networks with individual rules. One way to manage all the networks centrally is through Unified Access network security protocols.
Most IT departments love the concept of automation… in theory. Unfortunately it takes work to automate processes, which means man-hours. ‘Extra’ man-hours in IT departments rarely exist but taking the time to automate processes pays off in the long run. If you simply don’t have the employee bandwidth then consider hiring an outside firm to implement automation procedures. Automation procedures like software-defined networking (SDN) can halt you from addressing each user process individually—switching to an automated process for software installation, configuration and imaging.
Third-Party and Cloud Partners
Corporations ‘lease’ almost everything—from their cars to their HVAC systems… so why try to keep your data center and IT entirely in-house? Leveraging third-party partners, including cloud-computing solutions, can help you lease your technology in the same way your business leases most of its assets. The strain that it takes off your network will offer your IT department a sigh of relief. To add more icing to the technical cake these third-party providers have the transition down to a smooth, simple process.
The more complex your network the more difficult recovering it is in the event of a major security breach. While all the network simplifications on this list will help with your overall disaster recovery, implementing a quick-action disaster recovery plan is critical. Proper software for disaster recovery will simplify the process to get you back to uptime, and increase the amount of data recovered. If you don’t have the hours available to implement a thorough DR plan you can implement it via a SaaS model.
Limit Your BYOD
A bring-your-own-device phone and tablet policy is extremely popular with users, but it shouldn’t be a complete free-for-all. Limit your BYOD policy to a few devices, including the most popular, like the iPhone.
Virtualize Your BYOD
Even with a limited-device BYOD policy there is still complexity. By virtualizing your BYOD policy you can:
- Publish applications to the cloud then have users connect to the data center via HTTPS. From there your apps are centrally stored—offering increased network security.
- Allow user settings (like printer settings, profiles, etc.) to follow them, giving users a more productive environment.
- Virtualize storage, which when centrally managed and stored is easily accessible and more affordable.
- Employ security and encryption protocols by routing traffic through HTTPS, and then block user devices that haven’t updated their antivirus or installed a patch.
Simplifying your network operations offers a huge number of benefits. These include decreased IT management man-hours, a more manageable budget, more network agility, improved user experiences and increased network security.
To discuss which of the above (and more) networking simplification options are right for your network, what order to implement them in—and/or guidance and assistance on implementation give us a call. We can discuss your network specifications and design a solution that inspires confidence in your network security plan.