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Why do network designers need to know about future business plans?

By awt598 ·
How do we as a network engineer need to know about the future of the company business plan ?

Because nowadays, I know that Aligning the IT with Business is the core competence of every business sector.

should we join ourselves in the management people or what ?

I'm in deep confusion

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To incorporate expansion planning into the network

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Why do network designers ...

system and design. Some examples I've seen:

A. Company asked for a network design to handle 65 users in three physical locations (25/35/15 users), each physical location equated to an operational aspect. They wanted each operational area to share files etc, but only within their area. Company was preparing to merge with a other that would add 195 in five new locations, and the new set up would have mixed operations in most locations. The info re the merge was NOT given to the network designer.

Provided design met current needs, by using 192.168.0.x static addresses and used routers to segregate the traffic. Four subnets gateway, accounts, sales, manufacturing. Within 12 months the whole thing had to be redone to incorporate the new sites. New design was set up using a 10.x.x.x, with second byte to designate physical location and third byte to designate functinal area, routers set up to filter traffic by both bytes. Initial design could have been done that way if the designer had been told, then the new stuff just slotted in when merge done. Work done twice due to not telling intentions. I've seen this happen numerous times.

B. I was designing a subnet for an office with 10 computers, only one server to act as gateway. Just after being given the design parameters I head one staff asking about the possibility of setting up an IT training room to add IT to their list of available courses, they currently did a number of service industry training courses. I incorporated that possibility in the design of the network and used a 'B' class address for the network. When I was getting ready to install they wanted to add the wiring for an IT training room and have it use the same gateway but not share any other services with the admin network. Adjusted quote for extra wiring and a router as well as the switch. The class room had a switch for its 22 machines, and two feeds to the router, the admin machines and gateway all fed to the router. If they had left the change to after I'd done the work, the design would have held up and allowed for the change of hardware and extra wiring. As it was, all I had to do extra was lay more wires, buy a router and set it up.

Adding extra units to an A or B class address networks is very easy, upgrading from a C class to an A or B class is a lot more work. Know the expected size for the next several years and design a network to handle that level. This includes the logical layout and the hardware layout. I've seen a new building with a 15 unit lan built with fibre optic between floors as they expect to incorporate more PCs in an expanded admin area during the next several years. 5 years later that fibre optic was needed, to install then would have cost several thousand dollars and taken the network down for a few days. Cost at intial install was a couple of hundred dollars.

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Aligning Business 7 IT

by awt598 In reply to To incorporate expansion ...

Well, so far I believe that if we as the Network designer or as anyone who is in the Technical job role would be advantageous if we could understand and align the business driver with IT driver.

so, sometimes it is quite hard to realize and knowing what the company future business plan if we are not directly involved in the top level management areas or in the decision making place.

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What are your options

by JamesRL In reply to Why do network designers ...

I took a three day course in aligning IT with the Corporate Strategic plan. Great course, and probably the most valuable part is the idea that there may not be enough detail in the plan for you and you have to learn to ferret it and infer it out.

Often there isn't a strategic plan, but often at least there is an annual plan. If you have an annual plan at least you should be able to account for such things as growth in the workforce, acquisition of new facilities, closing down of existing facilities etc.

In the ideal world you would know these things farther in advance than a year so that you could review your equipment investments and projects to see if they make sense. Why upgrade the bandwidth to a facility you are going to close down, or buy more capacity for your email system if you are going to layoff 10% of your workforce.

There are some core objectives in every strategic plan - everyone wants to increase revenue, reduce costs, improve profitability. The big question is how - if you know that, you can start the process of assessing your projects as to how they support those objectives.


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