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Six reasons you can’t afford to go cheap on network.

Published: Aug 14, 2017
Author: Danny Johnson

What it can do for you

Identify and correct faults before they even happen

I’m going to take the transport industry as an example. Train tracks can be fitted with sensors to detect a faulty part and let you know about it in real time. Instead of having breakdowns and surprise maintenance issues, you are able to predict and address a problem before it occurs—and avoid a lot of the cost and hassle associated with it happening.

Imagine knowing that one of your machines has a fault before it goes out of use. Crucial information like this could transform the way you operate your business, provide a much clearer picture of what goes on and even extend your asset life significantly.

“It didn’t come up on inspection.”

If you’ve spent any time watching home reconstruction shows like Fixer Upper, you’ll be familiar with the phrase. There’s inevitably a moment in the show where the host has to break the news to the homeowners that they’ve discovered serious flaws in the construction of the home.

Often, they tear up the flooring or break down the walls to find a poorly laid foundation, the wrong size lumber in load bearing areas, substandard materials, or hastily installed wiring. Someone cut corners when the house was built, and now it’s come to light.

It can be tempting to save money, but you could end up paying more for it in the long run.

Building a house is like choosing a network. There are many things you stand to lose if you don’t step back and take a macro view of your infrastructure. Giving your business to the lowest bidder or multiple low-cost vendors may yield a satisfying line-item drop in your short-term budget. But there are long-term costs and other factors you should consider, and not all of them are easy to measure by budget impact alone.

If you marry in haste, you’ll repent at leisure — many of these gaps and hidden costs won’t be apparent until long after you’ve signed your contract and muscled your way through integration. Here are some things you should consider long before you sign that contract.

1. A cheaper network can impact performance

Let’s face it. A less expensive product is typically a lower quality product. Network performance is everything, and a cheaper network may not deliver the performance you need. Never make assumptions, regardless of what your network provider promises or advertises. You may take it for granted when you sign the contract, but you’ll realize how important performance is when your users report poor application performance.

A recent C-level survey of global enterprises revealed that 82% of companies believed that their network performance lags behind their competitors.[1] Downtime, lag time, and bandwidth inconsistencies can have a huge impact on your business. What does it cost you when your network goes down? Or when customers abandon transactions because your website takes too long for content to load?

2. A cheaper network doesn’t necessarily mean lower cost

When the price is too good to be true, it often is. Having your network managed by disparate vendors across multiple sites can add layers of costly complexity to your operation, increase the FTE assigned to your IT budget and drastically throttle productivity. When you opt for a modular approach, you lose the obvious benefits of streamlining by consolidation, and what you gain from taking a multiple vendor approach, you could see drained from other areas of your budget.

3. A cheaper network may not provide full visibility

A complex, multi-vendor approach to network management can blindfold you, robbing you of end-to-end visibility. This can make it difficult to address challenges, respond quickly to opportunities, and advance your strategies for growth. With a single vendor managing your network, the blindfold is removed — giving you full visibility across platforms and applications. This means you can respond to demand and market changes quickly and effectively.

4. A cheaper network doesn’t necessarily equal a secure network

When it comes to network security, it isn’t the right place to cut corners.According to a recent global survey, 56% of global companies cite security concerns as a barrier to their digital transformation journey.1 The more complex your network solution, the more access points you have to manage, which increases your vulnerability to cyberattacks and the risk likelihood of data compromise. Even with a single provider, your data can be at more risk if security is not one of their core competencies. Worryingly, it’s been reported that half of all UK organizations reduce security controls in the hope of boosting performance.

5. A cheaper network may not deliver better customer experiences

When it comes to your network, things may look great at the core, but the most important impact is generally seen at the edge of your business where your customers are. By the time you recognize the downstream impact on your CX, you may have your hands full troubleshooting and coordinating improvements with the web of providers you’re using. Since each of them only own a piece of the process, the buck gets passed — a lot.

6. A cheaper network doesn’t mean an agile network 

The cost-saving solution is often no frills — it’s one with little flexibility or expandability, which means you can’t easily scale your network as your business grows. Flexibility determines your reaction time. An agile network enables you to respond to marketplace opportunities or customer demand, and ramp up new locations, products, and services when and where you need them.

If you know it’s time to dump those legacy systems and migrate to next-gen networking solutions, it can be pretty risky to assume that one network solution is as good as another. Taking a shortsighted approach to network integration can cost you in the long run. Instead, determine what the current and future demands on your network will be, then architect the best network solution. One that aligns with your business strategies for growth and adapts accordingly.

1 Jackson, John. Digital Transformation Obstacles and How to Overcome Them. Rep. IDC, July 2016. Web. July 2017

Danny Johnson is Director, Product Marketing for Network Services at Verizon Enterprise Solutions. With over 13 years at Verizon in a variety of technology and marketing positions, Mr. Johnson’s current focus is to grow Verizon's revenue base across its Enterprise and Government sectors with the Verizon Intelligent Network Services portfolio. His responsibilities include program and campaign creation/design, internal and external portfolio messaging, brand awareness, offer creation and advertisement, and thought leadership. Mr. Johnson has a degree in Electrical Engineering from George Mason University in Virginia where he currently resides.