One of the primary goals of any ambitious business owner is growth. So many of our strategies and targets revolve around achieving this dream, whether it be through increased sales, better customer retention rates or the penetration of new markets. But if a business is to truly succeed, it goes without saying that it needs to be able to facilitate growth.
If the expansion of a company outstrips the infrastructure behind it, serious issues can arise. So, to avoid any problems that might hold back a potential success story, it’s vital that all companies fully consider the implications of their growth strategies, particularly where network capabilities are concerned. Network scalability is essential for enterprise success, because it allows a company to upscale, or downsize, as and when it needs to.
What Does Network Scalability Mean?
Network scalability is a term used to describe how adaptable a network is, and how well it might be able to respond to unexpected changes. If, for example, a business experienced a sudden boost in traffic and orders, a network would need to be able to facilitate that in order for the company to benefit from it. It’s also important that the network is fully capable of managing surges in traffic like this, as any hiccups could quickly result in disrupted service for customers, leaving them feeling frustrated and more likely to abandon their orders.
Most businesses will experience dramatic changes in traffic from time to time, and there are quite a few factors that might cause these. For companies selling products that are impacted by seasonal trends, this could happen several times a year. Traffic might increase rapidly as a result of an unexpected mention by a top influencer or celebrity, or it could be increased by an in-house team using a particular discount or promotion. In any case, it’s crucial that the network behind the business is capable of handling sudden changes in the volume of data it’s required to process.
Why You Need to Think About Network Scalability
Nothing can turn prospects away quite like downtime. So, if you want to keep customers happy and ensure that they only ever have great things to say about your company, you need to make sure your network is fully equipped to handle anything you might throw at it.
Build a flexible network to support your growing business
Network scalability provides the flexibility you need to grow your business over time. If your network is scalable, you’ll never need to think twice about pushing for an increase in orders, or upping the service you offer your customers.
Avoid service disruptions
Overlooking network scalability leaves you open to potential problems, which can have a real impact on the reputation of your brand. If you grow your company faster than your network capacity, you’ll soon encounter service disruptions that might not be that easy to fix. Operations could well grind to a halt as your team struggles to scale the network in line with this increased demand.
Downsize when you need to cut costs
It’s not just growth that you need to think about. The uncomfortable truth is that almost every business experiences a rough patch from time to time, so you might one day find yourself considering downsizing infrastructure as well as expanding it. Scalability means being able to do both. If your usage declines, you’ll be able to cut back on infrastructure and benefit from cost savings as a result.
How to Test Your Network Scalability
Far too few companies have a thorough understanding of their network scalability. This can easily throw a spanner in the works of even the most modest growth strategies. For this reason, we always advise that companies undertake scalability testing, to check the true capacities of their networks. Scalability tests should include:
Response time checks
Server response times should be evaluated, to ensure that they are short enough to provide a good service to both staff and customers. Lengthy response times will of course result in delays and disruption, so if any response times are found to be longer than expected further investigation will be required.
Tests must be carried out on the requests that a server can comfortably manage, within a predetermined period of time. The results of this test will indicate how well a network can support a growing customer base, and at what point further expansion might be needed.
It’s important to gain an in-depth understanding of the volume of data different resources consume. If certain resources are consuming more data than expected, this could indicate potential problems that may affect customers or users in the future. The potential for scalability will also be impacted by such issues, as a resource that requires a vast amount of data will be far harder to scale than one that uses a more modest amount.
Talk to Us for Fully Scalable Options
Whether you’re running a small business and just starting to think about expansion strategies, or your company is already going from strength to strength and you’re becoming concerned about network scalability, we’re here to help you.
Network scalability is a hugely important consideration for companies of any size, no matter how much you expect your company to grow over the coming weeks and years. To avoid potential problems, and ensure that your network is flexible enough to scale up or down as and when required, it’s always worth talking to the experts!
Our Houston data center provides a service that’s fast, reliable and affordable. Get in touch with our team and we’ll talk you through network scalability, providing you with all the information and insight you need to support your growing business.