Chances are that right now, somewhere between 30 to 90 percent of your organization’s WAN capacity is being consumed by recreational traffic. That means that a significant portion of every dollar spent on your network resources is being wasted. More than that, business application performance can be severely impacted as well. So whether it’s the download of a YouTube video, an update to a Facebook status or access to an iPhone or Android app, every connection to the network during peak periods affects the performance of business-critical applications.
There’s no arguing that employees have a need and want to stay connected to the world, and sometimes to goof off – and largely that equates to a drain on your network resources. Sometimes, that ‘investment’ is even good for overall productivity. That said, that argument is a bit thin when key business processes are slowed down as a result. So what’s the IT organization supposed to do to maintain a user-experience amongst impending network Armageddon?
First, you need real-time visibility into your network traffic. By understanding traffic related to an internal application as compared to web content, you gain a clearer picture as to the traffic on your network and when / where this traffic is originating.
Second, once you understand what applications are consuming the most bandwidth, you then need to prioritize your network traffic identifying those applications that are most critical to your business during peak business hours.
Third, you need to make sure that inappropriate web content is not accessible via your network. For capacity reasons, for liability reasons, you name it, there are plenty of reasons.
Optimizing the user-experience of business-critical applications contributes to employee productivity and allows the organization to meet your customer needs more efficiently. In other words, the IT organization is aligning the company’s business priorities with network performance – and that contributes directly to overall business results.
You’ll never really win the war against non-business critical use of network capacity. But to minimize the downside, you need an application aware network that intelligently manages QoS, you need in depth managerial reporting tools, and you need unified threat management tools. That way, the capacity you have is directed towards what’s important. That means the not-so-important stuff gets the short end of the stick – which sounds just about right.
To learn how InterCall and West IP Communications can help you optimize your business-critical applications, visit our solutions page.