Go Fibre: Why a Fibre Connection is a Must for Business South Africa
Is Fibre best for business? CIOs and IT Managers have spent years sitting on the fence over whether to adopt Fibre or not – but the pressure is mounting, as the Fibre revolution spreads through South Africa and savvy businesses reap the rewards. It is the role of CIOs and IT Managers alike to recognise these technologies for what they are – business enablers. It’s not enough to just keep the lights on anymore, key technology decision makers have a duty to enable innovation and new innovative strategies, and as such, only fibre will do.
And in the South African context, businesses have an even more important role to play than many might realise. Digitally advanced businesses are future-proof. They grow and scale far more easily than their competitors, and therefore have a crucial role to play in providing employment opportunities and driving our economy forward. In a nutshell, businesses that are strong players on both the local and international scene have a lot to offer their local economies.
Businesses hoping to make the most of the digital resources available to them simply cannot do so with the connections that most currently have. The age of digital business demands fast, clear, multi-channel communications, both internally and externally, in order to thrive in competitive markets.
Let’s say you have a customer in a faraway city. London, for example. They wouldn’t be willing to put up with slow or substandard service, just because you’re half a world away, but that’s exactly the kind of service they would be getting with a substandard connection. Slow response times, lack of real-time feedback, fuzzy and frequently dropped calls and video chats, inability to collaborate effectively – the list goes on. Geography may not be an issue any longer, but speed and efficiency certainly are.
We already know that Fibre eventually works out to be cheaper than other connections over time. We also know that it’s practically a necessity in allowing us to make full and unfettered use of cloud applications and software that improve efficiency and save a business money.
Fibre optics is the new standard for cabled Internet provision. It’s able to offer unprecedented bandwidth – 1Gbps plus as opposed to ADSL’s maximum of 40 Mbps – as well as an upload rate that equals its download. That makes uploading large files, such as video or voice, a much quicker process, and using cloud services much easier.
The superior speed and capacity of Fibre connectivity opens a whole new world of opportunities for both internal and external business communications. And better communication translates into saved time, and time is, of course, money. With a reliable Fibre connection, you can:
Collaborate more closely, no matter where you are. Cloud-based collaboration tools are being adopted by businesses worldwide as part of the mass-move to more flexible, mobile and agile working environments. Sadly, for businesses still not convinced that Fibre is right for them, the delays caused by accessing these tools with a substandard connection tend to negate any time or money-saving effects of increased collaboration. Slack, Office 365 and Google Docs can take collaboration to the next level for any information-dense business, but not if your connection can’t take the pressure.
Make better, clearer, more productive voice calls. VoIP is another communication tool that’s experienced a surge in popularity among South African Fibre-connected businesses. Being able to communicate quickly and clearly with colleagues or clients on the other side of the world, to remotely connect people by voice or video, and to reduce telecoms expenses through VoIP, are all dependent on having the infrastructure in place to handle the demand.
Ensure air-tight data security. Every South African knows that copper cables are some of the country’s most frequently stolen items, and IT professionals will also know that they are susceptible to electromagnetic interference and having data transmissions intercepted.
We’ve heard the statistics of IT downtime costing businesses money by the minute – but the real cost of an unreliable network is difficult to measure – and even more severe than most businesses realise. One must consider the impact it has on your brand and reputation in the eyes of current and potential clients, as well as the thousands of lost man-hours that such outages inevitably cause.
The Fibre revolution may not be a brand-new concept, but it’s getting South African businesses excited for all the right reasons. Enabling an always-on digital environment with greater productivity, agility, innovation and collaboration will be essential capabilities for digital businesses far into the future. Why not start now?