By Shane Haslem.
The importance of the Internet has increased tremendously for businesses in Northern Ireland. When we look at the trend of applications and data moving to the Internet and the cloud, all signs point to one conclusion. The Internet is growing in strategic importance to every business in the region.
But what does that mean for your organisation? If the Internet is critical to your core business, you should already be using a dedicated fibre connection. But making the right decision doesn’t stop there. As you examine your business priorities for 2015 and beyond, it might be useful to ask these questions:
1) How would you manage the impact on your business, if your access to e-mail, web and all cloud-based applications were interrupted?
2) Is your need for Internet bandwidth outgrowing your current connection’s capabilities?
3) Does your company experience a slowdown at ‘peak times’ when more people use the Internet in your organisation or in the area?
4) How confident are you that your organisation is protected against unauthorised access?
Having the right managed Internet service will help address all these issues, leaving you free to focus on your core business.
Is a managed Internet service really necessary?
The benefits of a managed Internet service might not instantly be obvious, until you realise that it’s akin to purchasing business insurance. It protects you against the failure or instability of your Internet link by having it proactively monitored 24×7. It also frees up your organisation from worrying about areas which may not be part of your core skill set. With a customised Service Level Agreement and the added reassurance of hardware maintenance and upgrade, you can be confident that you’ve protected the performance of this valuable business asset – protection that can save you time, money and resources in the long-term.
Flexible bandwidth for busy periods
Have you considered a service where bandwidth can be turned up or down as your needs dictate?
Many retail businesses, for example, may see a doubling or even trebling of bandwidth requirements at busy times, during which it may be useful to have the facility to turn a 30Mb per second Internet link up to 100Mb per second.
Don’t forget to examine, also, whether you’re using an uncontended, symmetric service: “uncontended” so you are not sharing your bandwidth allocation with anyone else, “symmetric” so your upload speeds are just as fast as downloads, saving you precious time, especially when trying to meet customer deadlines.
Securing your first line of defence
How are you protecting your Internet security? Managed firewall services provide additional protection at the perimeter where your business meets the Internet, and other web content security services — such as blacklisting and access control – can help enforce company policy, such as controlling access to leisure websites.
Treating Internet connectivity as a strategic asset
When thinking about your business Internet connectivity and security, you may come to the conclusion that many other organisations have: Internet availability and performance have a measurable financial value, yet they aren’t your core business.
By partnering with eir Business Solutions NI, Arthur Cox enjoys a consistent, high-performing fibre Internet connection to their Belfast office with the added reassurance that our engineers continuously monitor the network. A vital factor is our local expert team in Belfast. According to Mark McGugan, Finance and Operations Manager at Arthur Cox, “What stood out for us with eir NI was the local support. We have direct access to their technical expertise when we need them, which is a real benefit and lets us focus on what we do best.”
A managed Internet service partner allows you to focus on what you do best – serving your customers – while leveraging the resources of specialists who can keep the Internet working as you need it to work: continuously and securely.
Shane Haslem is Head of Network Enabled Design, eir Business Solutions Northern Ireland. Contact Shane at uk.linkedin.com/in/shanehaslem to talk about how a managed internet service can help your business