Understanding Network Assessments: What to Expect & Examples

managed IT Services

If you've kept up with the news, you're likely aware of the growing need for businesses to have strong cybersecurity and proactive IT. The rise in cyber threats to businesses has led to widespread attacks, so leaders are opting for more robust strategies.

You may be considering an outsourced IT provider to assist with your technology strategy. If so, many will provide an initial network assessment to see what they're working with. If you're back and forth on getting a network assessment or just curious about what they entail, here's what to expect and some examples.

The 3 Steps in Network Assessments

Network assessments will consist of three major steps: assessing your network infrastructure, evaluating your IT hardware, and analyzing any IT-related documents you may have. Here's a look at each step and what to expect for each.

1.Assessing your firm’s network infrastructure

An MSP will begin by scanning your network inside and out to uncover everything from performance to security. Your MSP's network assessment tools will assist in uncovering a wealth of information to give insight on your IT and security posture. This initial look will involve:

  • Confirming network administrator account details
  • Collecting external IP information
  • Preparing an encrypted USB drive
  • Conducting a network assessment
  • Completing a security assessment to find any network vulnerabilities

2.Evaluating Your Network Hardware

From cabling to PCs to the server, a network assessment will include a physical assessment of your hardware. We also look at printers, copiers, digital signage, phone systems, and physical security systems. If it affects or connects to your network, your MSP will need to know about it to make their recommendations on network management.

This might also include preparing a floorplan layout document to help IT techs get a sense of how your business is physically set up.

3.Analyzing IT-Related Documents

This includes receipts and invoices related to your IT environment. These details will also include your:

  • Internet service provider
  • Telephone system type/phone provider
  • Email platform/provider
  • Video conferencing platform/provider
  • Licensing with providers such as Microsoft
  • Your current IT provider (if you have one)
  • BDR Information Collection
  • Photo Document Environment

Additionally, you can help fill in any blanks. Although engineers are thorough, nothing beats additional information directly from you.

What Questions Will the Assessment Address?

If it's still unclear what a network assessment will actually tell you as a client, here are a few questions it will address.

IT and Equipment Information-"Is it outdated, and could it leave your firm vulnerable?"

Warranty Information- "Is the warranty still good? What does this mean for me?"

Security vulnerabilities- "Is there any way hackers could penetrate the network?"

IT infrastructure- "How could I leverage my IT environment to increase operational efficiency and cost savings?"

Real-World Example: Usherwood's Network Assessment Timeline

Here is an example of what to expect with Usherwood's network assessment process, called Odyssey Global IT.

The Odyssey Discovery is arguably the most important milestone in working with us as a managed service provider. The reason it's so critical is that it lays the foundation for everything we recommend or do for you moving forward.

We call this an Odyssey Discovery because the word "odyssey" is defined as an "adventurous journey". The network assessment process is, in essence, a journey we take in partnership with you. This allows us to provide the best advice and solutions for your network by gaining insight into your existing IT infrastructure.

After our initial onsite visit, we will analyze the information we collected. From there, we create a document called the Odyssey Navigator. This document relies on the thorough Discovery organized to give us a complete picture of your network.

Compiling all this information allows our team to get a birds-eye view of your network and IT environment. Our goal from here is to provide an honest and thoughtful presentation of our findings and recommendations moving forward.

During this meeting, we'll present data, pictures, and evidence we gathered, along with an outline of industry standards to justify our recommendations.

In addition, we will explain a solution we feel fits your unique situation the best. This includes our full IT services and new hardware as needed to start our journey together on the right track.

How to Get a Network Assessment

If a network assessment sounds right for you, there are many ways to get one. MSPs will typically offer this service right off the bat, as it gives them the context to advise you on how to best manage network tools and operating systems.

To get started with an Odyssey Global IT network assessment, click the button below. With our team of IT experts, you'll get a solid idea of what your network needs to ensure a secure and productive environment.

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