In recent years, many CIOs have cultivated digitalised enterprises that think differently about technology. Increasingly engrained at all levels of the business, IT is now recognised as a key agent for innovation and future success. It’s an essential step; Gartner predicts that by next year a lack of digital business competence will cause 25 per cent of businesses to lose competitive ranking.
There is no doubt that digital enterprise strategy has set strong roots, and demand for newer, more powerful and unique IT offerings will soar in the approach of a truly digital era. And all this will require higher bandwidth and speeds than ever before – but are UK businesses readily equipped with this level of connectivity?
Addressing the business need
Growing IT spend, increased technological awareness and new customer requirements are all driving change. New network foundations have to be in place to cater for the explosion in demand with higher speeds and flexible bandwidth. Whether a business is introducing cloud services, unified comms, a BYOD policy, or a new app strategy, this can only be achieved with gigabit speed connectivity. In fact, a staggering 71 per cent of CIOs told Colt that infrastructure speed and performance is one of the most important tech-based issues influencing their decisions.
The UK last month moved closer to Ed Vaizey’s vision of achieving a truly digital economy by 2020, when Ofcom ruled that BT must open its ducts to competitors. Once Openreach opens its network to other providers, others can invest in advanced cabling and networking to provide more products and to more regions. Such competition is exactly what British businesses need to innovate - the current limited business broadband options have left many without any way to achieve the speed they need.
This competition has been a long time coming for the UK, and is much needed step as the market has approximately five years of catching up to do in relation to the average connectivity standards of our European counterparts. You don’t need a degree in maths to calculate that to become a hotbed of innovation, UK businesses have their work cut out.
That said, this duct-opening will take some time to get going. What can businesses do in the meantime?
Having always available capacity provides the opportunity to ramp up as needed. Moving at the pace that the business requires gives CIOs the opportunity to really drive innovation and to directly support the fluidity of today’s IT demands. So if a company suddenly has to cater for a large influx of workers, a big IT project, or a seasonal peak, their service can be respond.
In the digital economy, it will become more difficult to predict what business needs will present themselves, or where unexpected demands will come from. Businesses need flexibility; to be able define different levels of bandwidth at different stages of their development. This is essential if companies are to become more agile and innovative.
Regardless of sector, businesses are fast realising a new approach is needed today to help them succeed in tomorrow’s digital world. All IT professionals need faster networking capabilities to get where they need to be – it is important to know that they can push the envelope and the network.
Nick Robinson, Client Director at Colt Technology Services
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Sergey Nivens