Setting up a computer network is a fast and reliable way of sharing information and resources within a business. It can help you make the most of your IT systems and equipment.
Advantages of computer networking
Main benefits of networks include:
- File sharing – you can easily share data between different users, or access it remotely if you keep it on other connected devices.
- Resource sharing – using network-connected peripheral devices like printers, scanners and copiers, or sharing software between multiple users, saves money.
- Sharing a single internet connection – it is cost-efficient and can help protect your systems if you properly secure the network.
- Increasing storage capacity – you can access files and multimedia, such as images and music, which you store remotely on other machines or network-attached storage devices.
Networking computers can also help you improve communication, so that:
- staff, suppliers and customers can share information and get in touch more easily
- your business can become more efficient - eg networked access to a common database can avoid the same data being keyed multiple times, saving time and preventing errors
- staff can deal with queries and deliver a better standard of service as a result of sharing customer data
Cost benefits of computer networking
Storing information in one centralised database can also help you reduce costs and drive efficiency. For example:
- staff can deal with more customers in less time, since they have shared access to customer and product databases
- you can centralise network administration, meaning less IT support is required
- you can cut costs through sharing of peripherals and internet access
You can reduce errors and improve consistency by having all staff work from a single source of information. This way, you can make standard versions of manuals and directories available to them, and back up data from a single point on a scheduled basis, ensuring consistency.
Read more about the pros and cons of wireless networking.