In today’s marketplace, expanding businesses have much more to consider when it comes to not only the scope, but the implications of growth in a global economy. The technology we have access to today makes breaking into distant markets exponentially easier than it would have been a few decades ago, but there are many new considerations that need to be taken into account. Acquisition by a larger company, rapid international expansion and developing a cult following overnight are all realities in the 21st century, and each can have devastating effects on your IT infrastructure and network capacity plan if you’re not adequately prepared.
Always know what you’re getting yourself into
In today’s data-heavy culture, any business consideration is also a network consideration. It’s advisable for chief information officers (CIOs) to be included in high-level discussions, and consulted about the IT implications of major business decisions. It’s of utmost importance to understand how the intricacies of your context play in to your networking strategy. If you’re expanding into new territory, make sure you know the technological landscape of the country you’re entering; if you’re acquiring a smaller business, make sure you understand their current networking capacity and the limitations that come with the acquisition
Context is everything
The specifics surrounding your situation will dictate what you should be looking for in a network capacity planning software suite, so it’s important to research the different options available to you. Breaking into emerging markets can be especially tricky, as your networking environment needs to be able to reconcile networks with different levels of technological intricacy. The technological limitations of the country you’re expanding into can also help to guide your decision, as not all network capacity planning methodologies have equal impact on your resources. Look for a compromise between maximum detail and minimum impact to infrastructure to keep your network as stable and predictable as possible.
The best time to fix the roof is when the sun shines
The only way to stay a step ahead of IT infrastructure issues is to proactively assess network capacity planning needs. It’s the responsibility of the CIO to have a bird’s-eye view of your organisation’s network, as well as a good idea of the technological profile of other businesses or territories that you’re likely to expand into. It’s impossible to know how expansion will affect your network capacity without having a solid grasp on your current environment, so keep track of your network capacity plan at all times.
Your network should be an extension of your business
Another benefit of including CIOs in high-level business functions is the ability to easily reconcile business and network strategies. Keeping the vision of your business transparent and uniform across as many employees as possible means that otherwise disparate functions can collude for greater productivity. Effective network capacity planning should arm organisations with more detailed, actionable data on the physical and virtual demand of the various districts of your network. This allows holistic decisions to be made that take into account the overall picture of your organisation and allow you to synergise your business and network growth.
Choose the right partner to maximise your growth
Selecting the best network capacity planning software for your organisation can make or break your network capacity planning strategy, so make sure you understand the pros and cons of the software you opt for. Your software should be able to leverage your Netflow data for monitoring and reporting in an easily understandable way, and allow you to make informed, company-wide decisions. Understanding your network’s unique requirements and keeping your business’s context in mind are paramount when choosing a network capacity planning software suite, so it’s worth investing in software that can dig deep into your Netflow data and present you with the most useful information possible.
Image credit: L’Atelier