It seems obvious to tell a business owner that having access to good internet is important, but I’m writing this segment because we run into too many companies that don’t and/or can’t invest properly in this critical business resource. The reasons are varied but carry similar results. A deficiency in bandwidth, causes a deficiency in effective utilization of technology.
Like it or not…technology is driving our businesses in similar directions. For very important reasons, data, applications, licensing, financial information, communications, etc. are moving toward cloud-based platforms (meaning…you must use the internet to get there). And despite the common (yet mostly uninformed) concerns, cloud-based IT systems are more secure, flexible, scalable, robust and redundant as opposed to technology running in your own office. Not to mention, the goal of IT (especially for the small business) is to simplify! So why reinvent the wheel through capital investment in hardware infrastructure, applications, licensing, etc.?
Small business owners should be building a plan (or working with experts to help build a plan) that allows for calculated migration to cloud and web-based platforms. The challenge of this process is effectively prioritizing the change to maximize value and limit “change-pain”!
While owning a building seems like something every successful business should do, that’s not always the case. For many companies, it makes more sense to continue leasing space, freeing up time and capital that can be better utilized in other ways.
But therein lies the challenge. If your business doesn’t have enough, or the right kind of bandwidth to facilitate these changes, you will be:
•Stuck using legacy premise-based technology and applications.
•You’ll try (or be forced) to migrate to the cloud but experience poor performance/frustration due to lack of bandwidth using cloud-based technologies and lose the value.
So, what to do?
1.It’s important to understand your current bandwidth resources and how they facilitate your current needs.
a.What kind of service do you have (T1/Coaxial/DSL/Fiber/Satellite)?
b.Upload/Download speeds? Latency? Dedicated or shared?
c.Monthly costs? Redundant Circuit?
NOTE: This is why it’s important to partner with an organization to help you uncover your needs and build a plan if you don’t have a great grasp of how to get this done.
2.You need to understand your available bandwidth options (which can be difficult to find if you are not familiar with the process) and how those can match with your future business and IT needs.
Once you take those two steps, you can build an effective plan which will bring flexibility and scalability to your business and your technology both now and into the future.