What the Latest Internet Trends Mean For Your Business
Our use of Internet bandwidth and consumption of bandwidth-heavy content is growing fast and will only accelerate. We often hear about this in a consumer context, but it does have ramifications for business, too. What can you expect, and how should you respond, to “future-proof” your business?
In my last post on the technology behind Internet services, I described fibre Internet and its advantages in terms of speed, reliability, consistency and security.
But why will you want or need all this for your business?
More critical business activities are taking place online
The volume of business Internet traffic is constantly growing as companies increasingly manage their operations over the Internet. Cisco forecasts global business Internet traffic will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18% through 2018.
How is this trend manifesting in your business? More of your sales, billing and procurement may be taking place over the Internet, through some manner of e-commerce or cloud platform. Even small retail shops are now relying on constant, high speed connectivity more than ever to run cloud-based point-of-sale systems. And you may also be backing up your data with remote data centre services.
All of this requires a secure and reliable Internet connection that can move large blocks of data quickly—the kind of security and reliability that comes from fibre.
Your team doesn’t have the face time it used to
Your team may be working remotely with growing frequency. In fact, to help reduce real estate costs and respond to changing work habits, some companies now even have fewer workstations on their premises than they have employees.
Younger workers are also more likely to embrace the lifestyle of the digital nomad, and show a preference for employers that can support that. According to the Conference Board of Canada’s Telecommunications Industry: Industrial Outlook Spring 2014 report, more than 70% of full-time workers aged 18–29 would be more satisfied in their jobs if they could work remotely using cloud-based software. Their older colleagues aren’t far behind either, with more than 50% of those aged 30-49 also saying they’d prefer working remotely.
To adapt to these preferences, compete for the best talent and keep existing employees happy, you may want to equip your team with collaboration and document-sharing applications, and web and video conferencing tools.
Also, Forrester Research, in its report The Immediate Future of Enterprise Video, documented a steady rise in the number of companies planning to deploy video for internal communications. This can include video training and demos, live video distribution platforms, and integration of video conferencing with access on smartphones and tablets.
The bottom line
Our society is increasingly dependent on high-speed Internet services. It is no different in your business, as you strive to connect with consumers and employees in the manner in which they prefer, transact online, and maintain cohesiveness and productivity with a remote team.
So when it comes to making the choice between Internet services, don’t just look your current needs, but consider how those needs are likely to change in the near future.
Have you experienced a change in your Internet needs recently due to the latest trends outlined here? Share your experiences in the comments, below.