The Best IT Networking Strategy for Multi-location Businesses
Opening new locations is certainly a milestone in business growth, but they don’t come without some challenges. Geographically disperse employees need a plan for data sharing and collaboration, complete with advanced security protocols.
What’s the best strategy to extend IT across multiple locations?
1. Standardize your Infrastructure
In terms of technical equipment, configuration, and support, all office locations should be nearly identical. This often means centralizing the overall IT management and connecting remote branches with back-end processes. Predictability lets your team solve issues quickly instead of wasting time on unique needs for each location. Also, standardized processes deliver consistent products and services to the end-user.
2. Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Multi-location businesses require a secure mode of communication between individual users and the organization’s primary network. A VPN transfers information over a public Internet connection, faster and more cost-effective than WANs, and on a fully private network.
With a VPN, employees from any office can access network resources and share data without compromising security. How? Data traffic is encrypted at one end of the “virtual tunnel” and then decrypted for the user on the other side. Also, a VPN can be managed from a central location, eliminating the need for IT staff to travel between remote sites.
Using an existing Internet connection, a secure Virtual Private Network brings multiple offices together under one digital roof.
3. Leverage Managed Network Services
Don’t bog down your IT team with troubleshooting or connectivity issues; they should be focused on future-growth projects. A Managed Network Services partner provides 24/7 monitoring, frequent performance/health updates, and continuous support. A remote support desk can keep an eye on numerous locations at once and give your team 100% visibility through a centralized dashboard.