Is Your Business Network Truly Efficient?
You've probably already made the connection between efficient network automation and the prevention of errors; saving time and money.
But once you have a system in place for your business, how can you tell if it's the most efficient it can be?
Here are some things to look at in your network automation system.
Redundancy is the name of the game when it comes to efficiency.
The second something breaks down in your automated process - and something will, eventually - you lose all kind of ground while you're waiting to get it up and running again.
Preventing downtime is straightforward when you have redundancy in your network automation system.
For every process you run, you should have either a backup process or a workaround to keep things running smoothly while your primary process is being repaired.
Duplication is similar to redundancy, but fundamentally different.
Basically, the principle is this: you must not rely on only one person to run things. More than one person has to have the same knowledge, skills and training to do every job required in your automated network system.
The cost of relying on one person is too great. If that person gets sick, or decides to leave or worse, turns on the company, you won't have anyone else who can step in and take over.
Duplicate every manned position in your network automation system to prevent problems.
3. Cost Analysis
As the following article looks at, if you haven't quite set up your network automation process and gone through the 7 vital tools for efficient network automation, you might want to do a cost analysis first. The cost analysis should compare having everything in-house versus using the technology of the cloud.
Just to get you started, here are some comparisons between the two alternatives:
In-House - hardware, software, maintenance, labor, energy
Cloud-based services - service only
Basically, if you're a person who needs to have complete and utter control over everything, and you're willing to pay the price to do so, an in-house network automation process is the way to go.
However, if you're the type to stand back and let the professionals do their job, then you'll be amazed and delighted with the service you can get from the cloud-based automation services.
You'll always have state-of-the-art servers working for you around the clock, built-in redundancies, and you'll never have to worry about hiring a dedicated IT person again, except to manage your teams' laptops.
Whichever way you decide to go, make sure you conduct that thorough cost analysis first, so you can weigh your options with all the facts in place.
Getting your business set up with network automation will enable you to propel it forward at a speed previously unheard of.
But managing that new speed requires a level of efficiency and attention to detail that you have to get a handle on now.
About the Author: Kate Supino writes extensively about best business practices.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.