Advantages of using networks in a business
For a business, computer networks provide additional infrastructure support by widening communication. Whenever limited hardware or software resources are available - a network is a very effective medium to share hardware and software among employees. People will be able to use each other's printers, scanners, and they can also run programs from the remote servers, keeping their workstation computers in a low hardware profile.
On the other hand, all the workstations in the organization can be managed centrally over a network. System defragmentation, backing up and deployment tasks such as software installations or patch file distribution can be done very easily. Without a network, these jobs would take days or more, because the administrator has to be physically present in the location of the PC to perform it. You can even schedule the maintenance duties to run at night without ever affecting the business at daytime.
Assigning and managing security is another critical aspect when working with computers. A computer network will provide additional facilities for these responsibilities. Some antivirus programs provide a central quarantine vault to seize harmful programs running in any PC of the network. A network administrator can monitor user behavior and even control or turn off a user's computer over the network. A security policy covers every action that a particular user can do, and it can even be set to block users from changing their desktop background. Some network operating systems alert the security administrator by Short Message Service (SMS) in the event of a security breach.
Network types useful for business organizations
With business organizations, two types of networks are commonly in use. The first type is Intranet (not the Internet) which is a network open only internally to the organization. Employees of the organization can use the network for the purpose of business operations, or to contact a remote branch of the same business. Almost all the businesses nowadays tend to keep their own intranet.
The second important type of network is the Extranet. The extranet is again a property of a business, but is not generally used for internal operations. Instead, it will allow outsiders to use the network to work with the business, especially clients and suppliers. Best example for an Extranet is the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) network provided by banks.
Usefulness of e-mail servers
A good quantity of communications within a business organization utilizes e-mail servers from proprietary and free vendors. Many people do know how to use e-mail, but do not realize the difficulty they are going to face during sudden unavailability of internet services. It is very important for an organization to have an e-mail domain name and own server for the reputation.
Computer networks offer many different advantages for business organizations. Before deploying a network in a business, it is very important to analyze the requirements to select the correct type of hardware and software for the network.