Did you catch the AFC Championship game yesterday? If you did, you may have noticed some poorly timed Microsoft ads, which aired after announcers pointed out that the Patriots were having issues with their Microsoft Surface tablets on the sidelines. Coaches and players use the Surface tablets to review plays during the game, so you can imagine how not being able to access the data they needed was a critical issue during the game.
Interestingly, Microsoft released a statement saying that the issue experienced was a result of problems with the network and, thus, not malfunctioning tablets. This points to a key issue that is applicable to all businesses. Like an NFL team, businesses rely on continued access to their data and communications tools. Thus, while it's certainly important to invest in enterprise-ready devices like Microsoft Surface tablets, it's at least equally as important to invest in a solid network that can handle your workload with appropriate redundancies.
Questions to consider include the following:
- Can your ISP service handle your bandwidth needs?
- Can your network devices handle your bandwidth needs?
- Are your wireless routers appropriately placed to reduce interference and give good coverage?
- Do you have separate networks set up for guests and internal use?
- Do you have secondary internet service set up as a failover in the event that your primary ISP suffers an outage?
Granted, these considerations aren't nearly as fun to think about as which tablets to buy for yourself and your team. But, in a high-stakes business environment, as in the AFC Championship, they're absolutely necessary.