Basha Pillay
Basha Pillay Executive Head: Cloud and Collaboration at Internet Solutions

Fostering a highly collaborative environment is becoming the hallmark of high-performing companies.

To keep up in today’s fast-paced marketplace, employees must be able to leverage creativity, experience and resources, with right- and left-brain thinkers, to arrive at important decisions in less time. After all, speed is king.

Technology is changing the way employees communicate at work. There are connected workplaces characterised by global teams, agile processes and virtual offices – or at least, this is the objective. We’ve gone from face-to-face meetings to integrating cloud-based collaboration software into workflows and video-conferencing tools. It's now the job of IT to reduce barriers between employees by enabling seamless access to these tools.

Focus on the network

Collaboration isn’t only about enabling employee interaction; it’s doing whatever you can to ensure that everyone performs more efficiently. This translates into more effective knowledge-sharing, transfer and capture and ultimately, improved business results.

The last thing anyone thinks about when deciding to build a more collaborative environment is the network. The network is the backbone of this new collaborative working environment. Without the right network, anything you integrate with it is going to struggle.

Here’s how to get a your network to operate at optimal levels for collaboration:

Keep flexibility in mind

You might put a great deal of effort into the floor plan of a meeting room and ensure that it has multipurpose furniture, but you need to ensure that your network access also adapts. Ensure too, that your Wi-Fi capacity can adapt to changing usage density.

Make sure that your staff get a high-quality experience and 100% uptime of business-critical applications and collaboration tools with quality of service (QoS) prioritisation. But to ensure that they stay up and running, you’ll need to leverage a software-defined network (SDN).

An SDN will use all available connectivity options including public broadband. If one link goes down, traffic will simply get routed through another. This ensures that the network and your collaboration platforms are up and running at all times.

Don’t forget the gadgets

To ensure that your computers and other devices don’t strain your infrastructure, review the bandwidth capacity of your Wi-Fi and network when you’re upgrading. You’ll also need to keep security in mind. Make sure your network can authenticate users and easily enforce policies. Keep visitor access independent from the corporate network by incorporating a guest Wi-Fi.

For your peace of mind, use a Virtual Private Network for secure networking. Whenever and wherever your employees log in, they will have exactly the same access to systems and tools and you will have the confidence that your security isn’t compromised.

Get more out of your network

Building a modern network isn’t just putting an infrastructure in place. It’s optimising connectivity, maximising bandwidth and enabling better collaboration.

From cloud-based solutions to software-defined networking and high-performing fibre, discover connectivity solutions that will support your IT infrastructure and make your team more agile. Read our guide, Understanding the connectivity solutions available to your enterprise.

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