Choosing a data cabling solution is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Almost every aspect of business communication relies on a large amount of data transmission. Whether we’re talking about web-conferencing, VoIP, email, or even online trading, high-speed networks have drastically transformed businesses and the way they work.
For a modern and efficient office, the cabling foundations that support your IT are just as vital as the walls and equipment you fill them with. Because of this, these foundations need to be reliable and correctly suited to the type of network it holds.
Despite its importance, cabling is often considered an afterthought. It should be one of the first things you think about when upgrading or making business changes. The development of technology in recent years means there is a higher demand for a faster and more reliable technical backbone. It has had such an impact on modern businesses, that it has fully transformed the way we design, plan, install, maintain, and upgrade office networks.
When considering your data cabling, first reflect on your business usage. Standard CAT6 data cabling is ideal for businesses that accommodate a few desktop computers, infrequent web conferencing, and light office use. If larger business functions or offices exceed these simple requirements, you will need a more substantial cabling network.
Centred Around You
Despite the significance of solid network foundations, lots of businesses prefer to focus on keeping things low-cost. So, they will opt for a modest solution which is often an afterthought and will merely return short-term results.
On the other side of things, many cabling companies will base a business’s network design on an assumption of what will best fit their requirements. Some issues with this include:
It is unlikely that a network that has trouble supporting existing devices will be able to deal with a sudden need for expansion.
Trying to deploy data cabling which was an afterthought to the network is like trying to fit the foundations of a house after the walls have been built.
It is important to find a cabling provider that will tailor a solution. Tell-tale signs of this are offers of site audits, surveys, and network design services. While a bespoke solution might demand a larger upfront cost, the guarantee of a network that can support your business functions will greatly outweigh the initial investment. As months and years pass, you will experience the cost-savings from lengthy maintenance and repair processes.
Consider the following things concerning your data network to see if it is best serving your business.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
The emphasis on case-by-case design and installation of data cabling is what makes it so relevant to businesses nowadays. An increasing need for good Wi-Fi means that it is no longer enough to have a strong signal in just one place. The network ideally needs to be designed so that the wireless access points are laid through floors or ceilings.
The high demand of modern office networks also requires higher speeds. Despite this, many cabling companies will opt to install a basic data network based on assumptions of your business needs. Your contractor should carry out a full RF (Radio Frequency) site survey before the planning stage. This will allow them to recommend a network that is best suited to your requirements.
Data wiring comes with its own set of regulations, ranging from fire safety to avoid tripping hazards. Because of the wide variety of compliance issues that can arise from data and electrical wiring, treating one cable the same as another will cause you to sacrifice some compliance.
Straying from the standards of data cabling and networking won’t put you in much physical danger. However, it can land you in some serious legal issues, relating to employee and workplace safety. Luckily, you can tackle these issues before they arise. Firstly, by planning your network in advance and secondly, enlisting the right cabling company to carry out the work.
The main dilemma businesses face in relation to data cabling is balancing the need to keep costs down, whilst accommodating medium and long-term expansion plans. Even if the need isn’t immediate, it is something you need to tackle in the early stages of network planning. After all, a lack of scalability in your network will translate into a lack of scalability for your business.
As more and more aspects of businesses become digitised, it adds another layer to consider with your data cabling. A business network is no longer just about office computers. You now have to consider office security, door access systems, and more.
A growing business and the fundamental need for additional devices such as PCs, office printers, and wireless routers will be the main force in driving network growth. Your business needs to prepare for this or suffer some consequences later down the line.
These issues aren’t necessarily ground-breaking and dealing with immediate and expanding networks has become more mainstream. Especially when you consider how businesses have become more dependent on advancing technologies.
When you’re considering designing or upgrading your data cabling network, it is first important to remember that networks are now an integral part of a business’s operations, and as such, shouldn’t be left as an afterthought. Building your network around strong foundations will help ensure your business is prepared for both immediate and future needs.
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