It is extremely important to ask the correct questions when deciding between low voltage cabling providers to ensure a successful implementation.
Why Your Structured Cabling Network is Critical for IT Security Management
The structured cabling network is a topic that many businesses find daunting. If you do not work in information technology, you may not even be familiar with what structured cabling is or what it does for you. When we initially discuss structured cabling networks with our customers we usually hear “what we have is working just fine” or “we don’t have the budget for that right now, we are focusing on (insert other IT issue here).” This is understandable since structured cabling is not known for being the “sexy” or fun part of IT to focus on. Usually, our customers are more concerned with security, cloud solutions, or new software upgrades for end users.
To give you a hint on where this is going: your structured cabling network is the foundation for all of this. Think of it like your home. If you want your home to be comfortable and functional, you organize your spaces so that you can move around easily and find things quickly when you need them. You also know where the doors and windows are so they can be closed and locked when you leave for the day. This is how you should think of your structured cabling system, you want it to be organized, functional, and secure.
To put it simply, structured IT cabling is the design and installation of a cabling system that will support multiple hardware uses both today and any additional hardware added in the future. It is the foundation of your network infrastructure and enables all data transmission and telephone service done through your computer. If you are looking for more information on the components of IT Infrastructure check out this blog.
Top 4 Reasons Structured Cabling Networks are critical for IT Security Management
Every business has some sort of structured cabling network, but they vary in size, organization, and capability. No matter how large your business is, having a seamlessly functional structured cabling network will save you and your employees a lot of trouble. Here are the top 4 reasons that structured cabling networks are critical for IT security.
Compliance and Security
Your data center/rack/closet is essentially the nucleus of your organization. It is where your servers, switches, routers are located and every piece of hardware (computers, phones, printers, security cameras) is connected to them by various cabling. If these cables are not labeled and organized well it is very difficult to know what they are connected to. It will also be difficult to tell if an unauthorized person has made changes to your physical network. We recommend having photos of your cabling network on file for reference so you can easily identify changes and potentially identify why someone has made those changes. It is the simplest way to tell if someone is tampering with your network from a physical standpoint.
The trade organization, BICSI, governs the structured cabling industry. They have published training manuals based on TIA/EIA/IEEE standards which were created around the technical requirements of the 90v POE and IoT devices.
Faster Speeds and Reliability
One of the most important things to any business is network stability and speed. There is nothing more frustrating that being on an important virtual meeting and having latency issues or drop-offs. Having a highly functional structured cabling network enables you and your employees to have trustworthy connection to the internet, and speed with locating important files stored on your network. If you have ever tried searching for a specific file and had to wait an extended period of time for it to be located, you may have some issues with your physical cabling system.
More Effective Support and Troubleshooting
No matter which industry you are in, or how big your organization is, support and troubleshooting is important. Technology by nature is ever changing and evolving and with this comes issues that need to be addressed. If your structured cabling network is poorly installed, organized, or labeled your support team will have a much tougher time identifying the issues you come across. This can lead to longer wait times to getting back to the task at hand, and even the need to reach out to 3rd parties for help.
Your structured cabling network can save you time and money. As we mentioned above, it is the nucleus of your organization and should be invested in on the front end, so you do not have to spend more money down the road to fix or even reinstall the entire network. If your employees are unable to be productive due to latency issues, drop-offs, and lost files you are losing money. If your support team needs to spend twice as much time locating the issue, you are losing money. Time is a resource that transfers directly to cost in the business world.
How do you accomplish a secure and highly functioning structured cabling network?
- Find a qualified structured cabling provider: This is the single best way to ensure that you are setting yourself up for success. Reputable providers will know the best products to install for you and be able to design it specifically to your needs. If you don’t know where to begin with finding a good structured cabling provider, check out 10 Questions You Should Ask Potential Low Voltage Cabling Providers
- Plan ahead: Planning and preparing for what you will need long term is a great way to set yourself up for success. Where do you see your business going? How big are you planning to grow in the next 5-10 years? How many locations do you have? These are the questions to ask yourself before you have a structured cabling network installed.
- Get the best cables for your needs: There are multiple brands and grades of cable on the market today. You have probably heard of cables like CAT 5, CAT 6 or 6a, and Fiber but do not know what you specifically need. This is something that a reputable provider will be able to help you decide, and chances are you will need a combination depending on your business.
- Share this information with your leadership: In most cases we find that decision makers in the IT Infrastructure space have a hard time securing budgeting to make changes. Use the information we shared today with them to help them see how important your structured cabling network is to the success of your business.
If you have any questions about structure cabling networks reach out to us. We are always available to discuss your existing environment, help you design the structured cabling network in a new space, or simply explain our process to you. You can reach us at ContactUs@Matrix-NDI.com or call 763-475-5500.