Why structured cabling networks are vital for your business

Why structured cabling networks are vital for your business

We often find that the topic of structured cabling can be a dull subject for many customers. Those who work in information technology, such as IT Managers and Technical Directors, are  familiar with structured cabling networks and their importance, but others may find the whole subject a bit intimidating. Cabling, even to IT departments, is sometimes seen as boring and often budgets are prioritised for the more exciting and sexy side of IT - cloud solutions, spangly new software, new laptops and cyber security. Who gets excited over bits of cable (apart from us?). Indeed these are all important investments for your business too, but don’t forget about the very foundation of your IT system: your good old, often overlooked structured cabling. 

What is structured network cabling? 

A structured cabling network is the backbone of your business’ network infrastructure. Everything is connected to it – desktop PCs, servers, devices, telephones and security systems. It transmits all the data you need to keep your business running. If it fails then the downtime can have a huge impact on productivity and profits. A properly planned and installed network supports multiple devices and considers future requirements to add in more hardware as you need it. It should be organised, tidy, maintained and tested regularly and ultimately functional and secure. But why? “Ain’t nobody got time for that faff”, one Facilities Manager told us. Here’s why: 

What are the main reasons for structured networking cabling impacting your business? 

Performance: Slow networks can be damaging to employee productivity and damage your business. You may need to store files in the cloud, add information to databases, download or upload large files and, of course, communicate by email.  One study by WhistleOut reported that 83% of workers said they could only be productive without the internet for less than half the day. The study also found that 65% of employees reported video calls interrupted or disconnected altogether. Tech Research Asia reports that “Productivity loss due to poor network connectivity amounts to 71 hours per employee each year.” This affects not only your bottom line, but employee morale as well. It is embarrassing if you are presenting to clients or on Zoom calls.  Your business needs reliable and fast connections to its network; issues with latency and drop-offs may be due to your cabling system and it needs to be checked. 

Security: We’ve seen some sights in Comms Rooms, and even in smaller businesses whose hardware is in a cupboard, cabinet or corner of the office. Servers, switches, routers are the communications hub of your business; everything in your business is connected to them. It is vital to ensure that all cables are labelled and neatly organised, for a couple of reasons. Firstly it can be a health and safety hazard to have trailing cables, and secondly unless changes to cables are labelled it can be impossible to see if an unauthorised person has potentially caused unintentional (or intentional!) havoc with your network.  We recommend that photos and logs are kept of cable changes so that any issues can be traced. Cables should be regularly checked for damage.

Troubleshooting: If your network is a poorly installed, poorly maintained, unlabelled mess then it’s going to be a nightmare to troubleshoot any issues - no matter what size your business. It could create unnecessary downtime trying to trace the fault and extra cost calling in extra help to find, and fix, the problem. Keeping on top of your network minimises the risk of downtime to the business. 

Money and headaches: Save yourself both. “A stitch in time, saves nine” as Grandma would say. Ensuring your structured cabling network is organised, compliant and well-maintained saves money and time with troubleshooting, prevents networks having to be reinstalled, mitigates risk of intentional tampering with your physical network and allows for future growth. 

What’s the best way to ensure an organised structured cabling network? 

  • Plan for the future: Is your network future-proof? What are your business plans for the future, do you see the business growing? Will you need more hardware and data points? Time spent on the planning stage will save costs further down the line.
  • Quality cables: whether it’s copper (Cat 5e, Cat 6 or Cat 6a, internal or external) or fibre that you need, ensure your cabling is of the highest quality and made by a reputable brand. We recommend brands such as Excel and Hellermann Tyton who each offer a 25 Year manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Use only qualified, certified and experienced data network installers: Millrose has over 25 years experience and City and Guilds (C&G) professionally qualified in both copper and fibre installations. We are also certified by both Excel and HellermannTyton to ensure network installations are to industry standards. A good installer will provide a site survey and advise on the cables types that you need. 
  • Put structured cabling on your sexy list: And make sure that whoever in your business makes the IT budgeting decisions aware of the vital role of structured cabling network in saving the business time, money and headaches. 

  • Get in touch: If you need to discuss your structured cabling network then please contact us. We can maintain, test, tidy and fix your existing network or install a brand new, highly organised structured cabling system if you don’t already have one in place. Just give us a call or drop us a message and we’ll be happy to help. 

Got a project in mind? Please contact us for a site survey and quote.

About Millrose
Millrose provides fibre and copper data cabling, WiFi, and telecom services across Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Herts and Essex.

Millrose Telecom Ltd, t/a Millrose. Company Number: 09005041
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Phone: 01223 625343

St John’s Innovation Centre, Cowley Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WS
Espace North, Littleport, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB6 1RA
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