A network upgrade can be rather… complex. You may not know exactly what you are talking about and what you are getting yourself into. If you don’t have an assigned IT department, you are probably asking around your social network as to who the trusted IT firms are.
Here are 5 questions to keep in the back of your mind for your next network upgrade Rest assured, after this, you’ll be asking the pros questions they may not have even thought of themselves.
It’s Time for a Network Upgrade! Are You Asking The Right Questions?
Am I Abiding By My Compliance Regulations?
I wanted to start with this question because I too often go into new situations where I notice the backups and data security is not compliant with the terms the organization has to abide. Not sure what compliance requirements your business must follow? Check out this article. The 2 most common compliances I see neglected are Hipaa and PCI. From the very start, make sure your provider is aware of all compliances you must follow.
What is My Return On Investment (ROI)?
For a more in-depth layout of which equipment gives you the best ROI, check out my blog: 5 High Priority IT Infrastructure Upgrades (That Also Provide Great ROI). If you’re going to be investing a good chunk of change into your network, you’re going to want to make some in the process. Make sure the equipment you’re purchasing returns the favor!
How Much Downtime Will I Have?
As much as I would like to say I don’t run into this situation, it definitely happens. There aren’t many types of network upgrades that don’t involve some sort of downtime. The bigger the overhaul, the longer the downtime (typically). Anytime I have a network upgrade, I ensure the client that their downtimes will either be during the lunch hour or their slowest time (established by the company itself). If there is no way around a prolonged period of downtime, you may just have to bite the bullet and pay the IT company’s weekend rates.
Is All This Necessary?
If you haven’t established a good relationship with the company doing your install, they may try and take advantage of you. I know no one would like to admit they know this is a common problem, but it is. Even if you have to go through every single quoted piece of equipment and ask what its role is in the grand scheme of things, do it! Better be safe than sorry!
Do Your Homework!
I can’t stress how important this is! I saved this for last because it is the most important piece of the network upgrade puzzle. Doing some research before you reach out to a company, during, and after is a must. Personally, to ensure the client I am not nickle and diming them, I put the part number for every piece of equipment in the quote, along with the percent of my markup, and the sales tax (if applicable). The more you know, the less likely you are to get taken advantage of!
Are You Ready for Your Network Upgrade?
Not sure if the “brand name” equipment is trustworthy or not? Check out my blog on 33 IT Brands You Can Trust More Than Gas Station Sushi. Or, if you want a second opinion on your proposal before you sign it, give us a call or email and one our techs will gladly go over your situation with you.
(Nate’s bonus tip: If you need a trustworthy IT company, I know of a good one right here.)