The costs of network downtime, how much to budget for WLAN projects, and how monitoring can increase your company’s ROI
If you were to ask a group of company executives what their business priorities were for the year, few of them, if any, might mention improving the wireless network or expanding network monitoring capabilities.
In many organizations, network management staff operate in a silo. Larger companies have CTOs that can act as an ambassador on behalf of the team. Medium and smaller-sized companies, though, usually don’t have a technology executive. The IT team may report to management with updates but since what they do isn’t widely understood, there may not be quite the same prioritization as other roles and functions.
Networks are simply expected to function, after all. And the personnel who support this vital piece of infrastructure do their jobs in the background—and the importance of their work and how it contributes to the success of the company are sometimes taken for granted.
But while key projects like WLAN improvements and wireless network monitoring might not be as high-profile as others, they are just as important. Without them, the company faces security breaches, downtime, and lost business.
Let’s take a look at the cost of downtime, the budget needs for WLAN projects, and how network monitoring can increase overall ROI.
The cost of downtime
The most obvious reason to allocate budget and resources to network expansion and monitoring is to prevent significant losses due to downtime. This cost is more abstract and powerful than just lost revenue. It includes the time of IT personnel, a tarnished reputation with end-users, and lost productivity.
However, downtime can be significantly more damaging for businesses that rely on heavy traffic and high numbers of transactions such as e-commerce outlets. In fact, a report from the Ponemon Institute estimated the average cost of overall network downtime for all businesses at $9,000 per minute, though the actual expense varies widely by the type and size of an organization.
WLAN improvements and network monitoring are just as vital to the success of a company as any other effort. They are long-term projects that need proper attention and resources to succeed. Understanding the costs included in these efforts is essential for any business as it assesses its network needs and plans to grow them along with the organization.
Costs to consider for Wi-Fi improvement projects
Budgeting for WLAN projects and network monitoring will depend entirely on the scope of the project, the size and needs of the company, and the vendor. However, most costs will fall into one of the following categories.
People working on a network installation or expansion, of course, need to be compensated for their time, whether it’s an internal team doing installation work or an outside vendor. WLAN installation requires surveying, designing, installing, and maintaining a system. Monitoring that's done by in-house personnel also requires time—and these hours can expand quickly if there are problems that must be identified and solved once they cause performance issues.
A wireless network monitoring solution from 7SIGNAL, however, can cut down on these costs. By continually assessing the network to spot problems early, it enables onsite staff to not only immediately know what the problem is, but fix it before it impacts end-users.
Products and materials
This category includes physical items such as access points, controllers, and tools that the team needs to survey the site and install the network. It also includes software and licenses needed to operate and maintain the system once it’s operational.
Although they aren’t upfront expenses, the costs of maintaining and monitoring the network need to be taken into account to understand the full scope of a project. These could include additional labor and increased infrastructure as the company grows. If you’re using an outside vendor or monitoring software, subscription services on a monthly or annual basis also need to be considered.
As with any project, unforeseen costs can arise with network expansion. Maybe the company needs a more customized solution than initially thought, or maybe additional equipment is needed. Leaving room in the budget will provide flexibility when these situations manifest and give companies the best chance at a robust solution that fits their needs.
How network monitoring can increase ROI
Whether you are undertaking a network expansion or not, network monitoring can increase your company’s ROI in a variety of ways, some of which may not be strictly financial. The success of network monitoring software and services will depend on the problems your organization is looking to solve and what your priorities are.
You may be able to reduce staff or more efficiently organize your IT team since you no longer need people to painstakingly identify and deal with issues. You can allocate efforts to other projects and training for when issues do arise.
IT and other internal teams won’t need to spend as much time on support calls or disaster management efforts since the monitoring software is designed to detect and eliminate threats early. They can focus on tasks that enhance the organization instead of cleaning up messes.
Experience and reputation
Downtime takes a toll on employees and it can also hurt the company’s reputation and customer retention if it affects customer service. Network monitoring can identify problems before they ever reach the end-user level. This allows the company to be proactive, identifying and negating issues before they impact the customer experience.
Downtime can be avoided with smart expansion and continuous network monitoring
Even relatively brief downtime can cost businesses thousands of dollars. Planning and appropriately budgeting for new projects ensure that the resources are there when a network needs to grow along with an organization’s needs. And network monitoring helps companies identify irregularities early, find the source, and eliminate the problem before it becomes a bigger issue—while saving money and time on maintenance.
Wireless network monitoring from 7SIGNAL is a valuable proposition for any organization that relies on a consistent, high-quality connection for critical tasks. Our solution continuously searches for performance issues from the perspective of end-users and provides real-time updates. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your organization.
7SIGNAL® is a leader in enterprise Wireless Network Monitoring. The 7SIGNAL platform is a cloud-based Wireless Network Monitoring (WNM) solution that continuously troubleshoots the wireless network for performance issues – maximizing network uptime, device connectivity, and network ROI. The platform was designed for the world’s most innovative organizations, educational institutions, hospitals, and government agencies and is currently deployed at Booz Allen Hamilton, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, Walgreens, Microsoft, and many others. 7SIGNAL continuously monitors the connectivity of over 4 million global devices. Learn more at www.7signal.com.