Office cabling and installation might not be the most glamorous areas of your IT infrastructure, but they’re certainly some of the most critical. Proper planning and deployment are essential for ensuring technology reliability and, in turn, maximizing employee productivity. Although they’re less visible than servers and endpoints, network cables and connectivity lie at the heart of any efficient workplace.
Wired networks dominate the modern workplace. Cabled connections are typically faster, more reliable, and more secure than wireless connections. Furthermore, rapid advances in cloud and virtualization technologies have greatly increased data loads to the extent that poor cable planning can have an immediate and dramatic effect on functionality and uptime.
Following industry-leading standards to ensure success
Office cabling is so important in today’s workplaces that it has even spawned various industry standards, the most common being the IEC 11801 released by the International Standards Organization way back in 1995. Since its initial release, the standard has undergone several major revisions, the last one taking place in November 2017.
The standard specifies the rules and recommendations for a wide range of applications, including data communication, building control systems, factory automation, and telephony. To that end, it serves as a baseline for building a cabling infrastructure that keeps downtime to a minimum and maximizes employee productivity.
Industry guidelines like IEC 11801 ensure that office cabling follows structured planning, in which the infrastructure is broken down into standardized elements like those mentioned above. This is important since different systems have different needs when it comes to things like security, bandwidth consumption, and uptime.
Maximizing uptime in a connected office environment
Cabling infrastructure is one of those things that nobody pays any attention to when it works as intended. If it doesn’t work well, however, people will know about it right away. Any defects, poor routing, or unsuitable cables can have an immediate impact on productivity to the extent that no amount of cutting-edge endpoint hardware can overcome it. In the end, this will greatly decrease the return on investment on your equipment.
For example, if your network devices support gigabit Ethernet, yet your data cables are longer than 55 meters, you may start to experience poor network performance. In such situations, people often end up blaming the hardware rather than the infrastructure. But in the end, upgrading your routers and network cards won’t make any difference if the cabling isn’t right.
With larger and more complicated corporate networks, the adverse effects of poor cabling can make matters exponentially worse. Major overhauls also get very costly, so it’s always better to get everything right in the first place. After all, office cabling can amount to more than 10% of the network infrastructure cost, so proper routing doesn’t just improve performance; it also reduces the investment required. Getting it right in the beginning will maximize your long-term ROI and play a central role in supporting the future growth of your organization.
Another important consideration is the constantly increasing number of connected devices in the modern workplace. As businesses implement more IoT devices, for example, it pays to implement a structured cabling plan that’s flexible and scalable enough to accommodate future requirements. Even if you don’t yet have a gigabit internet connection in your premises, it pays to plan ahead for whenever the technology becomes available in your area.
Fidelis Inc. provides everything you need to design, plan, and deploy a cabling infrastructure that supports long-term growth and helps you maximize your return on investment. Contact us today to get started.