March 11, 2022

Five network management mistakes

By Francis Wainaina, Senior Product Manager at SEACOM East Africa

With the increasing number of connections and devices necessary in today's digital business environment, network performance monitoring and management have grown more vital, but also more challenging. As costly cyber attacks and data breaches become more regular, and hackers become more cunning, businesses can no longer afford not to take network management seriously.

Improper network management or negligence can be disastrous, resulting in data breaches, network downtime, poor network performance and even reputational damage. An IT department's role in monitoring, managing and securing all networks, as well as driving digital transformation, is critical to maintaining a competitive business edge. Here are five common network management mistakes to avoid.

Not anticipating or preparing for network growth

Businesses of all sizes and in all sectors are constantly evolving in order to adapt to the rapidly shifting digital environment. Data traffic is rapidly expanding and new devices, technologies and services are being introduced - all of which rely on an enterprise's systems and networks operating at peak performance.

As a result, it makes sense to invest in flexible systems that can adapt to increasing speed and capacity demands. IT departments should make sure that their network management strategies allow for scalability. Network managers will be better prepared for inevitable expansion if they plan ahead for how much a network is projected to grow over time.

Failure to monitor applications and devices

Monitoring and managing applications and devices provides a detailed and accurate picture of a company's network performance. As they both use significant network resources, it's crucial to keep an eye on them for maximum network efficiency.

A software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) provides network managers with a future-proof solution for not just running WAN services more effectively, securely and cost-effectively. However, it also optimises application performance and monitors device logs.

SD-WAN can be set up to prioritise business-critical apps and services, allowing IT departments to cut down on packet loss and latency. This leads to enhanced network performance and staff productivity in the long run. It's a win-win situation for the company as a whole.

Failure to implement access controls

Businesses store a lot of sensitive data and personal information on their networks and exposing it to unauthorised users is a disaster in the making. Setting role-based access controls is essential to prevent data from falling into the wrong hands.

SD-WAN plays a role here as well, thanks to its built-in security and major cybersecurity benefits for businesses. Look for an SD-WAN solution that has more features than just a firewall and VPN. Those with comprehensive, integrated security features, such as next-generation firewalls, encryption and sandboxing, are a surefire way to protect a company from data loss, network violations and downtime.

Overlooking automation as a viable solution

Modern corporate networks are growing in size and complexity as companies rush to accelerate their digital transformation ahead of competitors. The more complex they become, the more challenging, expensive and time-consuming it is to manually manage and control them.

SD-WAN is the ideal solution for complex networks and overburdened IT teams, as it eliminates the need for onsite personnel to manage local IT infrastructure. It streamlines WAN services and eases the network management burden by offloading non-essential business apps, automating monitoring tasks and centrally managing traffic. This allows businesses to focus on other priorities.

Being reactive instead of being proactive

It's no longer tenable to react to network performance and security issues as they arise. Modern businesses must constantly monitor all networks and systems, checking for threats and inefficiencies ahead of time.

Network downtime can result in significant financial losses, so taking a proactive and hands-on approach to network management is critical. For more information or to get a quote for our various networking solutions, email us at or leave us a message.

SEACOM owns Africa’s largest network of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, including fibre optic networks and subsea cables. We offer a wide range of industry-leading scalable ICT solutions for large companies that operate throughout the region.

SEACOM is privately owned - making it adaptable to the needs of the client. We are the preferred ICT and internet connectivity supplier for African enterprises. We can guarantee fast, reliable and secure internet and networking services at affordable prices.

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