For many companies, IT networks have become not only more integral to operating their business on a day-to-day basis, but also more complex and complicated.

With important information and critical operations depending on your network running smoothly and flawlessly, your company cannot risk waiting for an issue to cripple your system before addressing it. You can take preemptive action to analyze your network and ensure it is fulfilling its requirements by conducting a network assessment.

What is a network assessment?

After you set up a network, you should test it to make sure the various components are working in tandem properly and reliably, the way you would with any complex system. However, it’s also important to periodically conduct network assessments post-installation to ensure your organization is making the most of its network or if you are considering changes or adding new technology.

Whether you can already pinpoint a problem but are unsure how to fix it or simply know a problem exists but not its identity, a network assessment gives you a comprehensive view about the current state of your company’s network.

A network assessment reviews your existing IT infrastructure, security, processes, management and performance and analyzes various devices – including servers, routers, computers, laptops and smart devices – along with the exchange server, looking for network vulnerabilities or failures. The analysis can help diagnose and verify network performance, security, and capacity/storage issues, along with the appearance of atypical data or any component being out of compliance. You also will have insight into underused or overused resources, bandwidth bottlenecks, and the potential benefits and challenges of adding new technology into your current network configuration.

How Can You Benefit From a Network Assessment?

A network assessment can help you grow more familiar with your growing IT infrastructure and systems and proactively identify and verify which components may be causing problems. The analysis also is a useful tool to help you determine which issues are network-related and which are user-related and identify opportunities for improvement, allowing you to make more informed and strategic business decisions.

Depending on the type of assessment completed, common outcomes from the analysis can also include uncovering unsupported operating systems; user passwords close to expiration; operating systems in extended support; or a lack of anti-spyware. The good news is an assessment can also provide recommendations for fixing network- and user-related issues with applicable solutions.

Assessing Your Network

You should be tracking your network’s performance for several reasons, not least of which are efficiency and security. Identifying the ways in which your network is underperforming or vulnerable allows you to spend energy making strategic decisions for comprehensive improvement.

Network assessments, however, can be complex and time-consuming. Working alongside a managed IT services provider to review and analyze your company’s network gives you access to professional knowledge and insight about complex IT systems and what you should even be looking for. Providers such as Smart IP ensure the process is more efficient and cost-effective by managing the assessment, preparing a report, and guiding you toward accurate solutions and tools to help you make the most of your IT infrastructure and end-user systems.