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It’s possible to go wild with IT networking costs – and, as a result, you’ll get outrageous performance.

Around the world, major financial organizations rely on virtually zero latency networks to make sure they can trade without delay – and billion-dollar betting companies make sure they’re instantly updating their odds to reflect the real-time play.

While these systems are necessary if you’re on Wall Street or have millions of dollars crossing your systems every hour, they’re excessive for all but a very small handful of companies – but that doesn’t mean that you should settle for low speed and low performance. The stakes might not be as high – but poor performance can be the difference between winning and losing customers – so, what can you do to make sure you’re getting the very best from your systems without breaking the bank? We’ll explore a series of steps you can take to serious reduce the costs associated with your WAN – and make sure performance isn’t impacted.

Negotiate price and performance from your ISP

The idea of making any changes to your internet connections might make your blood run cold – and with good reason. Losing your internet connection, even for a day, could be absolutely catastrophic, in fact, many businesses don’t recover if a cyberattack takes their systems offline.

With that in mind, the idea of rocking the boat with a connection provider might seem foolish – but it’s that thinking that’s exactly what many ISPs rely on to withhold the very best performance and deals.

Currently, ISPs have no legal obligation to put you on their best tariff – or suggest upgrading the systems you’re using – so, if you seem happy, that’s where they’ll leave you. In truth, there’s a lot to be gained from questioning this, and very little to lose.

If you haven’t upgraded your connection in 3 years or more – or, if during that time you’ve old had nominal upgrades to your bandwidth along with very small price drops, then it’s time to make your voice heard. And don’t worry, there’s no reason to think your systems will be offline for even an hour – so your switch won’t see any impact on your bottom line.

Explore hybrid networking options

5+ years ago, the ways we connected to the internet as a business were fairly limited. Now, we have a huge number of options – and many of those come with significantly reduced price tags.

We used to need private circuits to connect our businesses to the internet – but, now, we can use a hybrid network design to leverage a range of different connection types. In short, you can find the right connection for your business and site – and you don’t have to simply fit your business around what an ISP has available – and, you can find connections that balance connection speed with the price.

Don’t misunderstand, installing a hybrid network isn’t going to be something you can do yourself this weekend – it’s definitely a task that a dedicated managed network provider will need to plan. It’s not going to be cheap either – but, in the short to medium term, you could see enormous savings, which will help to offset your installation costs.

Mix and match your connection providers to suit you

Even if you’re not planning on completely redesigning your network – you should consider looking at the connection types that you use across your different sites. In many cases, where these are provided by the same carrier, it’s been done for convenience – the result of a successful sales call from the provider at the point of installation.

In truth, using the same carrier across all your different sites is rarely the best way to get either the best performance or the most competitive price. If you’re willing to go away and explore some different carriers – ideally getting prices for each of your different sites, then you’re likely to find upgrades on price and performance.

Find an external support provider

In some cases, it’s not the equipment that we use that limits our performance – but, instead, the people that we have running that equipment.

We’re not suggesting your in-house support team aren’t up to scratch – in fact, they’re probably doing a fantastic job of operating your systems – but what if you could double the size of the team? What if you could take the day-to-day ‘keeping the lights on’ work away from them and allow them to focus their abilities to develop your IT systems or maximizing what they could do? What if you could send your in-house team on training and development courses to make sure they have the knowledge needed to drive the tech side of your business forward?

Bringing a managed service provider into your business can mean you reap enormous benefits – from allowing your team to focus on developing your tech offering – to bringing in the kind of experience that your wages budget could never hope to stretch to individually. What’s more, you’re likely to be working with a team that takes a proactive approach to issues – so you’ll never find yourself at the mercy of downtime again.

Of course, this is all about balancing performance and cost – so how much is a world-class MSP likely to cost? The answer is – not as much as their skills would lead you to believe. While they’re likely to have skills and people power that would mean no stone is left unturned from a tech point of view, you’ve got to remember that they’re spreading the cost of that expertise and team power over a large number of clients. In actual fact, this model makes a lot of sense too – after all, you’re probably unlikely to need a series of dedicated engineers 365 days a year – so, when you’re not using them, let someone else pay for them.

You’ll need to find an MSP that understands your business, your goals, and has your best interests at the heart of what they do – but when you do, you’re winning a business partner that’s going to drive your performance skyward – at a fraction of the cost, you might expect.