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Updated: Feb 27

why do organizations have network architects

Over the last few decades, information technology (IT) infrastructure has become critical to any organization’s success. Companies of all sizes – from mom-and-pop shops to multinational super-giants – rely on computer systems, software, apps, security, and cloud networks to keep their operations running smoothly. So, it makes sense that maintaining and optimizing that IT infrastructure is crucial for a company's growth and success. This is where network architects come into play.


What is a Network Architect?

A network architect is a designated professional who designs and maintains an organization's computer network. They hold certifications like the Cisco Certified Internetworks Expert (CCIE) or Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), giving them detailed and specialized knowledge on best practices and how to achieve them.

They are responsible for creating a network that is efficient and secure, and that can handle their organization's current and future needs. Network architects ensure that this network is configured properly with updated hardware and software, and that the entire thing is scalable in order to grow with the organization over time. Often times these architects report to a company CTO or VP of IT.

Why are Networks Important to a Company?

The network system is the backbone of an organization's IT infrastructure. It connects all the devices, servers, and software applications together, allowing for seamless communication and collaboration between employees – whether that’s just a few or a few thousand. A well-designed and fully-maintained network will go a long way in increasing productivity and security, while reducing downtime and inefficiency. It can also save a company money in the long run by streamlining necessary hardware and software licenses.

An organization's network must be able to handle the company's current needs and future growth. As the company grows, the network must be able to handle additional users, data, and devices. It’s essential to have an architect who can design and maintain a flexible, robust, and scalable network.

Examples of Apps That Use Company Networks

Microsoft, in combination with Cisco, Juniper, and other wide area network vendors, is a leading player in the world of network architecture. Some of the most recognizable applications are Microsoft SharePoint, Office 365, and Teams; these are broadly customizable and built into many companies’ daily operations. Thousands of organizations would grind to a halt without their file-sharing and quick collaboration benefits.

Want to know more about how technology can optimize operations? Check out our recent blog about it!

The Best hardware for Network Architects

The hardware used in an organization's network is just as important as the network itself. The wrong hardware – not just computers, but also modems, servers, routers, data storage, and so on – can slow down the network and increase downtime. It may even leave the network vulnerable to security breaches. A good network architect will select the right hardware for your organization's needs.

Factors in Choosing Hardware for a Network

Network architects must consider several factors when selecting appropriate hardware for the network. This ultimately involves a balance of:

  • the number of users (and how they access the network)

  • the amount of data transmitted

  • the network's desired speed

  • the organization's budget

  • the compatibility of the hardware with the organization's existing systems

Keeping a Business Network Secure

With cyberattacks, ransomware hits, and data theft being a constant threat, network security is absolutely essential to protect your organization. A cyberattack or data theft doesn’t just lead to system downtime – it can cause irreparable reputational damage that you might never come back from. So, one of the most important responsibilities of a network architect is the design and implementation of a secure and stable network, locked down with the proper safety features.

Tools Used to Protect the Network

Network architects use several vital tools to protect an organization's network, such as:

  • firewalls – firewalls prevent unauthorized access to the network by monitoring incoming and outgoing traffic based on established policies, flagging anything suspicious.

  • antivirus software – this is a malware barrier, detecting and removing potential malware from the network.

  • intrusion detection systems – Intrusion detection systems monitor the network for unusual activity, and can automatically log it and notify an administrator.

  • virtual private networks (VPNs) – VPNs allow remote employees to access the network securely, without external interference in the middle.

  • strong data encryption – this turns sensitive data into scrambled information while in transit, keeping it safe until it arrives at the intended recipient. This is important not only for privacy and security, but also authentication and regulatory compliance.

CCIE and CCNP Certifications

To become a network architect, you must have the necessary skills and certifications. The most widely recognized certifications for network architects are the CCIE and CCNP certifications mentioned above.

The CCIE certification is among the most advanced certifications in the networking industry, if not the highest of all. It requires extensive knowledge and skills in designing, implementing, and managing complex network solutions. It is considered the gold standard in networking certifications.

The CCNP certification is a mid-level certification that demonstrates a professional's knowledge and skills in network implementation, troubleshooting, and optimization. It is a prerequisite for the CCIE certification.

Does My Company Need a Network Architect?

If your company is growing and you’re trying to decide if you need someone in this role, it’s a good idea to plan out your trajectory and think about what your needs will be in the near future. Smoothly functioning networks bring all kinds of benefits – but one that’s built or maintained poorly will ultimately cause more problems than it solves.

Should you decide that you’re ready to hire one of these tech experts, get in touch with Talint Solutions and we’ll help you find the perfect fit for your organization!



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