During the COVID-19 pandemic a lot of companies adopted working from home as a necessity.
Since restrictions started to relax, many of those companies have decided to keep their working from home policies intact, at least for the foreseeable future. With that in mind, we wanted to list out a few areas where a lasting shift to having fewer people in the office should prompt a review of your IT setup.
With a more distributed workforce, it's time to evaluate whether a central location for your servers and databases still makes sense. Moving services like this can make them more easily accessible to users, especially ones who are geographically distant. You'd also move to a model which frees up capital to put to better use, and enjoy higher levels of service availability, too. Fewer servers in the office means lower power consumption, fewer (if any) uninterruptable power supply units, freed up space where you can put people not equipment and much more - what's not to love?
When you bought your firewall, chances are you specified it because of the total throughput it offered (linked to the rating of your Internet connection) and the number of users it supported while they were in the office. But now, most of your users are outside the office, and possibly connecting back in via VPNs. Two things to note here, firstly the number of supported VPN clients may not be adequate, and secondly the throughput of your firewall will drop by around a half when all the VPN connections are active.
You can see if the number of VPN connections means you need a firewall upgrade, or you can move to cloud services to reduce the VPN requirement, or you can even migrate to a Firewall as a Service solution such as the one we offer to provide you with a more appropriate network architecture.
Say you have a primary Internet circuit into your office, with a lesser rated backup line. With fewer people in the office these days, and a workforce that's more accustomed to working remotely, you might think about whether you really need that backup line after all. If you have no critical on premises servers or databases, and the primary line fails, your contingency plan can just be to work remotely until the line is fixed.
Oh, and you should shop around for cheaper bandwidth anyway if you're out of contract with your telecom provider.
This one's fairly basic, in fact. If you now have far fewer employees in the office on a typical day than you did before the pandemic, you should recalculate your Internet bandwidth and firewall requirements. You could find that if you're out of contract you can significantly reduce your telecom bill, and of course even better savings can be found if you seek out a few competitive quotes. While there's no immediate need to look at changing your firewall unless it's at the end of its useful (and supported) life, but when that time comes the reduced bandwidth may be enough to mean a lower rated, less expensive firewall, too.
Of all IT infrastructure, networks often get neglected more than others. With fewer people in the office it's a great opportunity to perform some much needed housekeeping on your LAN:
If you'd like, get in touch with us and we'll be happy to take a look at these for you and see which make sense for your business - drop us a line!