How can faster broadband benefit my business?
Superfast Broadband provides improved download and upload speeds, as well as providing a more reliable service. As a result this is certain to provide better opportunities for businesses in Lincolnshire.
A good broadband connection for your business means there's a greater capacity to send and receive data electronically. This will allow files to be downloaded and uploaded faster, and emails sent and received much quicker, which will be particularly beneficial for companies that regularly need to send large data files. Architectural and design companies come to mind as do those in the media or gaming industry.
For example, with a typical broadband speed of 2mbps a HD movie take would probably take over 9 hours to download. A 40mbps connection could see the film downloaded in little over 20 minutes.
Superfast Broadband also has the potential to significantly improve business performance. It ay lead to the development of a new business model, provide access to new markets, improve customer relationships and operational savings, or give an organisation a unique selling point (USP) that leads to a competitive advantage over others in the market place - the list is endless!
Faster broadband allows a workforce to work more flexibly from home, or another office, which can lead to increased productivity, greater employee satisfaction, reduced travel and importantly save money in the long term. Many organisations allow employees to access their networks via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and in this situation an employee’s experience at home, or in a remote office, would be exactly the same as working at the main office.
Another benefit of working remotely is that it will help to address the increased emphasis on legal rights and work/life balance within jobs. For example, for people with children or other care commitments superfast broadband may help to restructure their working days. As a result this will be of obvious benefit to the employee and their employers.
Cloud Computing is probably one of the most discussed applications in the ICT industry at the moment. For small businesses in Lincolnshire, there are potentially big benefits. Cloud solutions are very scalable as an organisation will often pay on a per user basis for what is actually needed. Critical businesses issues such as back up, security and upgrading, will be catered for and the data can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. As a result Cloud Computing can reduce the level of investment a business might need to make in ICT hardware and software.
Cloud computing is a relatively simple process and basically means that an organisation’s data and software applications are hosted remotely in a data centre. In reality it is quite possible that many businesses already use cloud type services, like Facebook and Hotmail. With superfast broadband, the use of such services becomes much easier.
Many cloud based business applications are now available, ranging from office software like Google Docs and Office365 (email, calendars, word processors and spread sheets) to more sophisticated business software like customer relationship management (CRM) systems such as Salesforce.
Superfast broadband can revolutionise the way a business communicates with customers and colleagues.
Telephony bills can plummet using a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) system. These can range from basic systems like Skype to more sophisticated and intelligent systems which enable the user to manage call routing and voicemail, ensuring callers get through to the correct person every time.
Video communications like Skype and Apple's Face Time also have the capacity to offer good quality video conferencing facilities. This could mean far less travelling for business meetings and the time and money saved will lead to greater profitability.
Services such as these can connect people and ideas, share information and work in real-time or over a period of time from anywhere in the world. Platforms like Huddle allow a range of users to share a secure workspace and collaborate on projects, documents, share videos, use shared whiteboards, all in a completely paperless way.
Businesses can use various social media platforms - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. - to connect with new and established customers and add value - using competitions, 'how to' videos, fan pages and review sites.
You can access support for your business to implment new digital tools and services from the Business Lincolnshire Growth Hub at www.businesslincolnshire.com.