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How to Understand a Network Assessment

July 22nd, 2022 | 5 min. read

By Marissa Olson

In the modern IT landscape, consecutive business growth requires the right technology, security measures, and infrastructure. The state of network infrastructure has been changing over the years, causing many possible security vulnerabilities.

Unfortunately, many companies and organizations don't think about their current infrastructure until problems arise. Sometimes these problems are uncovered when they are already severe.

That is why a network assessment is vital for businesses. If you are wondering what this is, you’ve come to the right place.

Once reading this article, you’ll better understand a network assessment of your current IT infrastructure and needs—and why this is such an essential part of managed IT services for your employees, business, and customers.

What is Network Assessment?

A network assessment is a form of audit that involves scanning a network to uncover any anomalies or risks. It can also be defined as a detailed report of a company's current IT infrastructure, processes, security, management, and performance.

A network assessment collects information from a company's network and endpoints to determine if anything is out of the managed service provider's (MSP) standards.

This assessment aims to provide a comprehensive view of an existing network's current state and identify improvement opportunities. It requires a qualified managed IT services provider to scan and compile results that give you a technical analysis of your network. This enables you to make strategic business decisions.

The need for a network assessment begins when you realize that your business's IT systems have grown. At this point, you cannot tell what is happening everywhere in the network. In the event of performance bottlenecks, you cannot verify the cause until a thorough analysis of all the network components is done. 

The Components of a Network Assessment

Network assessment involves five assessment types. Let's look at what each assessment involves:

1. Infrastructure Assessment

A network assessment starts with an infrastructure assessment that targets specific enterprise and office components. It reviews the current location, types of offices, number of users, facilities for access, distribution, etc.

The infrastructure assessment also examines common elements like Windows ADS, circuit maps, and the routing protocol design. Results of this analysis help to determine potential issues with a company's current infrastructure.

2. Performance Assessment

This step identifies potential problems with specific locations, devices, and servers. It determines any errors or over-utilization of these components. Some of the primary causes of network performance problems include:

• Network device configuration

• Equipment and circuit provisioning

• Application configuration

• Enterprise design problems

• Application model

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3. Availability Assessment

An availability assessment determines whether they cater to a company's availability requirements.

The managed services provider (MSP) identifies any problems within these survey groups and their effects on the network and the company's revenues.

4. Management Assessment

During a management assessment, the MSP reviews the current strategy used to manage servers and devices. It aims to identify any existing network management strategy problems and their effects on the ongoing network operations.

This determines the additional applications, processes, and events required to manage any new implementations.

5. Security Assessment

Security policies are critical in protecting a company's assets. This assessment aims to keep your networks, data, and devices safe by discovering all possible entry points for cyber-attacks.

Not just from outside your business but also from inside. It considers your company's security strategy and identifies any problems affecting its operations.

Related Article: Cybersecurity Threat Monitoring and Risk Assessment Solutions.

Assessment Analysis and Recommendations

Once the network assessment is complete, the MSP analyzes the collected information for problems, issues, and trends that may adversely impact the network. They review all the network assessment groups while comparing them with the best practices, design requirements, and business requirements.

The detailed analysis is then used to give recommendations that address all the identified problems. These recommendations address issues from all the five assessment groups, providing valuable practices to achieve operational efficiency in an organization's network.

The Benefits of Having a Network Assessment Done

A network assessment is a crucial element for cybersecurity and system maintenance. Here are the top benefits of getting a professional network assessment for your business.

1. Helps to Identify and Resolve Bottlenecks

Some applications, processes, or software may slow down your managed network systems. Identifying these bottlenecks without using a network assessment tool can be difficult.

So, getting professional help from a qualified managed IT company enables you to locate and fix these bottlenecks, increasing the speed and functionality of your network. The good thing is that most managed IT services are affordable and worthwhile.

2. Gives You a Chance to Try New Technology Options

The recommendations are given after a network assessment and discuss various technology options that could fix your current network, along with their implementation. They give you short-term and long-term options and when to consider integrating them into your IT systems.

3. Helps you to Establish a Baseline and Set Thresholds

Before assessing the performance of your network, you must establish a baseline of what average performance looks like. A network assessment helps you to set this baseline, which acts as your quality assurance evaluation.

It allows you to evaluate future performance and set critical thresholds. If the networks surpass these thresholds, your IT department receives an automatic alert indicating that there is an issue that needs to be resolved.

The report you receive from a network assessment gives a detailed report outlining every aspect of your network. It pinpoints the areas that are doing well and those that need improvement. You will understand your system's capabilities and shortcomings with this information.

If your network needs improvement and you don't know where to begin, the assessment alerts you with the necessary information to make valuable improvements. It will also help you avoid altering what is already working well.

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The Final Say: Understanding a Network Assessment

A network assessment is the first step to ensuring your network is secure and functioning perfectly. So, make sure you take your time researching managed IT services companies in your area.

AIS is a qualified MSP that helps businesses identify the weaknesses in their networks and recommends the best practices to achieve operational efficiency. If you've any questions regarding network assessment, contact us today and allow us to take the performance of your network systems to the next level. We’re here to give you peace of mind to help you win more business.

Marissa Olson

A true southerner from Atlanta, Georgia, Marissa has always had a strong passion for writing and storytelling. She moved out west in 2018 where she became an expert on all things business technology-related as the Content Producer at AIS. Coupled with her knowledge of SEO best practices, she's been integral in catapulting AIS to the digital forefront of the industry. In her free time, she enjoys sipping wine and hanging out with her rescue-dog, WIllow. Basically, she loves wine and dogs, but not whiny dogs.