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What’s Causing Your Bandwidth Woes?

Every time employees send or receive data online they need bandwidth. Like time and money, bandwidth is a scarce resource in many offices. After all, computers and digital devices rely on bandwidth to complete tasks online.

Bandwidth is the amount of information that can be sent or received per second. This might be measured in Kbps (thousands of bits per second) or Mbps (millions of bits per second). Many people think having a higher bandwidth will mean a faster user experience. In fact, it’s only one factor that affects response time. Bandwidth is actually about capacity more than speed.

Eight bits of information is one byte. A byte is the amount of memory it takes to store one character, such as the letter “Q.”

You can’t drive fast on a one-lane road when there’s a lot of traffic. You also can’t navigate the information highway as quickly in online congestion. If you’re the only one in the office late at night, you’ll have no trouble trying to stream an online webinar, but you might struggle to stream the same webinar when sales are on a video conference call and advertising are sending a graphic-heavy email.

What Is Using Bandwidth?

There is greater demand on bandwidth every day. Your business migrated to cloud services for greater mobility and online consistency, but sharing information in real time requires bandwidth usage to synchronize data.

Backing up to the cloud provides businesses with greater peace of mind, yet it can be a headache if that backup is happening right when you want to get on a video chat with a client – your connection can suffer. You’ll be that person who keeps dropping in and out of that important meeting!

When you’re using an online meeting tool (audio or video), you can also slow things down for others.

Even email needs bandwidth to send and receive data. The bigger the files (e.g. images or spreadsheets?), the more bandwidth activity. Uploading a few PDFs can take up 20–40Mb of the total, which can choke a network with limited upload capacity.

All those personal devices your people are bringing to work can make a difference, too. Smartphones will often start backing up to the cloud when they are on a Wi-Fi network.

Bandwidth Usage Solutions

Often, there is no option for greater bandwidth because the infrastructure where you’re located won’t support greater bandwidth. You’re already getting the most capacity your provider can offer.

Still, there are ways to better manage bandwidth:

  • Switch to a business-grade router or a Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliance. These allow you to identify and manage bandwidth usage better. They also add security (firewalls, filtering) to your network connection.
  • Set up Quality of Service (QoS) to rank the activities your business values more (e.g. configuring video conferencing to take data preference ahead of file downloads).
  • Block some devices entirely, such as employee phones backing up to the cloud.
  • Schedule some activities for a more convenient time (e.g. set your system backups to happen in the middle of the night, fewer people are likely to be trying to do things online).

Want to regain control of your internet capacity? A managed services provider can monitor traffic and usage, and help you set up a solution for smarter bandwidth usage.

Improve productivity and give employees something to smile about (other than a cat riding a vacuum cleaner on Facebook) with better bandwidth management.

Give us a call today at (850) 659-6649.

How many seats are there at your C-suite table? A small business might have only a CEO. A mid-sized one may add another one or two C’s — COO? CFO? CMO? But you don’t have to be enterprise-sized to enjoy a Chief Information Officer’s (CIO) skillset. Virtual CIOs help any size business create a tech strategy to meet business goals.

Every business will shape the CIO role differently. Still, this individual typically has the following responsibilities:

  • planning information technology (IT) strategy
  • budgeting for technology to support business goals
  • keeping abreast of current technology trends
  • evaluating new technologies to improve productivity, enhance operational efficiency, and reduce costs
  • building and maintaining an effective, motivated IT team
  • inspiring and embracing technological innovation
  • developing security, business continuity, and disaster recovery policies

Notice how this role differs from a Technology Director or IT Director. The director is typically more of a hands-on operationally focused IT leader. The TD or IT Director is more likely to be buying IT and managing the technical solutions.

The vCIO is a strategic consultant. He or she needs to understand the day-to-day operations, of course, but this role is more about bigger-picture thinking. As more technology is moved to the cloud and outsourced to partnerships, the vCIO is the outward-facing lead.

A vCIO takes a broad view of business technology needs. They prioritize IT needs and provide methods to improve regulatory compliance. With an eye to ROI, the vCIO builds vendor relationships and reviews the IT teams’ strengths.

How Does a vCIO Help Business?

People may be the backbone of the business, yet you can bet they rely on networks, computer systems, and software applications to get the job done. Processing invoices, collaborating on documents, organizing meetings, video conferencing … business has gone digital.

Without the right technology in place, you could be wasting resources: time and money. Many companies get sold on particular IT solutions and stick with them out of loyalty. With so much else demanding attention, it’s easier to rely on legacy systems to get the job done.

But that’s not necessarily the best thing for the business. A virtual CIO can help identify areas of duplication and wasted resources. Maybe you are paying for more software licenses than you need? An outdated system is slowing you down. You could be under-utilizing your existing hardware. This tech expert explores process and makes recommendations for streamlining business practices.

As digital transformation leaders, CIOs are as critical to cultural change as chief human resources officers. — Gartner

A virtual CIO lets you keep up with the core challenges facing your business. Meanwhile, you’re leaving technology concerns to an expert. A virtual CIO, even a part-time one, comes to understand your business objectives. Then, they ensure your IT infrastructure is the best fit it can be.

Regardless of your industry, it’s safe to say that technology is complicated. Plus, IT is evolving rapidly. Don’t miss out on opportunities to leverage the best tools for your business. Take a strategic approach to IT with the aid of a virtual CIO.

Make sure your IT investment is a wise one with the input of a virtual CIO. We can help. Contact us today at (850) 659-6649.

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