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Risk of downtime with out-dated devices
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Risk of downtime with out-dated devices 

At least that is what the data gathered from nearly 52,000 networking devices at more than 200 organizations through Softchoice’s Cisco Contract TechCheck has announced. TechCheck is an assessment service that measures an organization’s network infrastructure.

This assessment revealed that 60 per cent of businesses have end-of-support devices running in their networks. These outdated devices not only place those organizations at a higher risk of security breaches, but also result in decreased productivity and higher costs to replace in the future resulting in downtime.

“Most organizations struggle to get a basic understanding of the state of their network because few regularly check up on the different devices they have in play,” said David Brisbois, Senior Manager of Assessment and Technology Deployment Services Consulting at Softchoice. “It isn’t until a breach occurs or their network crashes that most organizations react and realize their network is past its ‘best before’ date.”

When this occur it puts organizations into a serious state of panic, lost of productivity and increase in downtime that translates into revenue loss.

Another serious finding from this assessment is that 95 per cent of businesses have end-of-sale devices operating on their networks. These are devices that are currently not on the market, but are still supported – for whatever little time that remains by the supplier.

Findings from this analysis also indicated that 30 per cent of all devices assessed lack a standard technical support service. One such support service is SMARTnet from Cisco that provides 24 hours access to experts in case of a downtime or if you need replacement options for hardware.

So, what can a company do if they are struggling to measure the health of their network? David Brisbois went on to suggest a three-step plan to evaluate and upgrade a company’s network infrastructure.

  1. Assess your existing infrastructure by using an assessment service, like Softchoice’s Cisco Contract TechCheck. This type of service provides an examination into an organization’s network infrastructure to see which devices are in critical need of replacement, which should be planned for future replacement, and which are still new and can meet their needs.
  2. Evaluate your disaster recovery strategy, organizations need to evaluate their disaster recovery strategy and determine what devices are mission critical. Ask yourself: “If a device goes down, can the business go on without it or will it impede day-to-day operations?” Determining this allows organizations to identify devices that need more advanced technical support, like for example SMARTnet.
  3. Plan and budget for replacement, when a device enters end-of-sale, it has a maximum of two-to-five years before the manufacturer no longer supports it. Organizations must proactively plan and budget for replacement of those devices before they go end-of-support.

To decrease the risk of security breaches, lost of productivity and higher replacement costs for devices, it is advisable to perform regular checks on the health of your network infrastructure so as to mitigate downtime.

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