The costs of running a business have increased. One of the contributing factors is the growing need for more bandwidth, driven by the push towards digitalised operations and virtualising experiences such as online show rooms or ecommerce. This has resulted in businesses sizing up their network requirements and therefore network spends.
While the advent of digitalisation and increased data consumption is inevitable, we need to ask ourselves, are we truly optimising our network spends? Or are we oversizing our networks, just to cater for those unexpected traffic spikes? What are some factors and activities that increase your network data consumption? How many of them are required on a day to day basis and how many of them are ad hoc? Are there ways to plan for your network to ensure you get the performance you need, when you need it without having unnecessary wastage?
Contributing factors to heavy data usage
Before we answer those questions, let’s first look at what are some of the key contributors to business network usage and how often they occur:
|Internet Access for day to day functions such as emails, online collaboration tools etc.||Moderate||High|
|Software Updates or Patches||Low||Moderate|
|Ad-hoc live streaming, video conference or mission critical Apps that require stable network performance during peak hours.||High||Moderate|
|Special events including exhibitions, seminars and mega sales that require higher traffic volume for the website or venue during a certain period.||High||Low|
|Short term projects where additional bandwidth for deployment, testing, migration or transfer of data files.||High||Low|
From this quick table, you can easily see that most of an organisation’s day to day functions may not require high bandwidth consumption. However, there are instances where higher than normal consumption is required leading to spikes in network traffic.
With connectivity solutions provided on a fixed bandwidth basis, organisations will naturally size up to their maximum usage requirements to avoid getting caught unprepared when they need the additional bandwidth. This results in under utility and wastage. Is there a way for businesses to further optimise?
6 solutions for reducing network usage and save data costs
The list below will help you achieve higher savings on network costs and also offer some amazing benefits to the performance of your organization. Let’s consider some of them:
1. Seek Advice
Do you think some departments are expending more data than required? Or can prioritizing some business functions solve your network issues, instead of jumping straight towards increasing bandwidth plans? Speaking with your provider’s customer support or account management team could be a simple first step to take. The good thing is, they can help you pin point what the problem might be and advise you with solutions that can enable you to better control network access and usage across your organisation, such as SD-WAN.
2. Review your business network infrastructure
Take a good look at your business network infrastructure or customer premise equipment (CPE). This can include routers, switches, servers, Firewall/security, SD-WAN as well as Wireless Aps. You’ll need to ask yourself if they are optimised towards your bandwidth and network performance requirements. Are they set up to provide you the throughput you need? Or are they impacting your network speeds? Having the right equipment can significantly improve network performance and a managed CPE service can possibly be the answer. This ensures that you receive professional advice and management for your office set up to maximise your network plans. The managed services model can even help you to lower ongoing maintenance and management costs for your infrastructure.
Alternatively, you can also consider moving towards cloud solutions to replace hardware such as with Managed Firewalls (vFirewall) to improve the total cost of ownership by reducing manpower and maintenance costs.
3. Get a package that suits your company needs
Nothing beats a package that is right sized to your needs. You may think you are stuck with fixed bandwidth plans but SPTel is here to change all that with Bandwidth on Demand.
With provisioning done within minutes, you can be assured that your business can scale up network requirements for adhoc projects or events and then go back down to your BAU bandwidth speeds as needed. This dynamic resource allocation provides for just-in time provisioning so you don’t need to commit upfront to high bandwidths and long contract terms.
4. Audit your bills and contracts
Auditing your bills, at least monthly, will help you monitor which of your activities consumes more resources than the others and helps you see if your network usage matches your operations.
Your employees might just be channeling your data power into something with no benefit to your business. Auditing the bills will also help you properly create the perfect budget for future expenses.
5. Ask about your utility
A reliable network provider should be able to offer transparency of your network utility and help you see how much you are utilising on a day to day basis so that you can plan for network optimisation.
At SPTel, for example, we provide you with a default dashboard that lets monitor your Internet bandwidth usage with ease so you can identify if your current plan meets your needs.
6. Opt for short term contracts
Let’s face it, with business being so volatile in this challenging landscape, you are faced with a certain level of uncertainty. Will you stay in your current location? Do you need to plan for expansion? Will you go with a largely work from home workforce? Instead of committing to long term contracts, which offer you a lower monthly recurring cost but longer lock in periods, why not go for a shorter term contract so you have more flexibility to change as business requirements evolve?
SPTel lets you opt for short term contracts so that you can make adjustments as needed because we know that your business is changing at a rapid pace.
Your organization deserves a solid, cost-effective, and reliable network connection that can meet your needs with minimal wastage. At SPTel, we deliver these benefits for our customers with Bandwidth on Demand, network utility transparency as well as solutions like SD-WAN and Managed CPE. Speak with our team today to learn more!