This is the era of extreme connectivity. The technology revolution is well and truly on course to transforming businesses forever. Cutting-edge connectivity is a huge enabler for businesses from all industries. The most coveted business applications are also the ones that bring people together, help teams build synergies, and infuse the element of speed in workflows. And you can’t do any of this without enterprise-grade connectivity.
Connectivity apps, however, are only the exterior layer. At the core of the connectivity revolution is high-speed Internet networks, advanced networking equipment, latest communication protocols, and sophisticated hardware. Managing so many components in the connectivity mix is challenging for large organizations, even though they can afford dedicated IT support to take care of all these components. For SMBs, the challenges multiply further.
Why is connectivity a challenge for SMBs?
The single biggest reason why connectivity becomes a challenge for SMBs is that of their failure to provide adequate resources upfront. Startups and small businesses often envision their workspace in the form of small buildings and office spaces. However, connectivity extends way beyond the traditional definition of network coverage within walls. Connectivity is about enabling employees to connect quickly, with ease, and with ease of mind, anytime, from anywhere.
Because SMBs tend to take a myopic view of connectivity, they soon start feeling the heat, as their current connectivity resources start proving inadequate. The remedy — thoroughly assess your future connectivity requirements. You won’t become an enterprise without getting yourself enterprise-grade connectivity.
What is enterprise-grade connectivity?
Tech vendors have this habit of slapping the word “enterprise-grade” on their products without really getting deeper into explaining why they make the claim. We want to make sure that you don’t fall into the marketing trap. Instead, know the key aspects of tech products that make them enterprise-grade.
Holistic security: Enterprise-grade necessitates a holistic approach towards security, across products, processes, and applications.
Integration: Enterprise-grade expects tools and technologies to add to and extend existing tools, such that end users don’t have to face any disruption in their routine work.
Productivity: Enterprise-grade requires technologies to be attuned to the idea of “more work in less time,” such that users don’t feel inclined to use consumer-grade alternatives for more convenience.
Support: Enterprise-grade technology products offer deep support that extends well beyond the traditional definitions of the word; vendors need to support not only the internal stakeholder but also make sure the technology gels well into the larger distributed ecosystem.
Granular control: Enterprise-grade technology must offer companies deep control over policies for accessibility of content, and the ability to manage user environments suitable for specific user groups.
Next up, let’s tell you why even SMBs need enterprise-grade connectivity.
Connecting people and business applications
Even if you’ve just started your enterprise’s digital transformation journey, you’d already have several business applications being used by employees. With time, the number of business apps will only increase. The result — a highly complex and sophisticated apps ecosystem.
In such a scenario, connectivity is not merely about web resources to fire up these web-powered apps. Beyond that, your business will need to ensure that employees are able to connect with applications over secure connections all the time. Connectivity must encompass all possible combinations of device types, operating systems, and open source APIs over which applications can be accessed.
When SMBs start thinking of their business applications portfolio as it will stand a few years down the line, they begin to understand why their current connectivity resources might fall short. Instead, they need to provide for the future.
Enterprise-grade connectivity in the mobile world
Mobility is arguably the biggest trend in business tech. Mobility is what enables the “office anywhere” concept. Lower costs, higher productivity, speedy communication — all these are proven benefits of mobility in the workplace. Question yourself — does your business leverage mobility like enterprises do? Here’s where you need to focus on:
- VoIP services accessible via mobile applications, and mobile Internet connections, to make it possible for your employees to quickly contact any international endpoint without thinking twice.
- Advanced mobile telephony, including voicemail, call forwarding, teleconferencing, and video conferencing, helping connect people from different geographies in a jiffy.
- Mobile-friendly business applications should be easily accessible on smartphones and tablets, helping field employees remain connected with the software-powered desk workforce, throughout the day.
- IT should retain granular control over the rights and privileges of mobile users.
- BYOD programs to speed track the mobile-business connectivity readiness of the workforce.
Staying in sync with the latest from the world of connectivity
Compare the level of connectivity you enjoy today with what it was five years back. Chances are that you’ve added video conferencing and VoIP in your connectivity portfolio in this period. The next connectivity revolutions won’t take five more years. It’s important that you remain attuned to the latest updates from the world of connectivity — right from hardware to software, and from innovation to legislation.
The method that enterprises adopt (successfully, most of the times) is to engage leading vendors from the world of connectivity technology. Then, these enterprises ask the vendors to take up the role of strategic partners and to offer consultation to help the company decide on connectivity upgrades, whether it’s in the form of better hardware, better subscription packages for data connections, or for better software.
Such integrated and managed frameworks for connectivity management ensure that your business is well aware of the best from the world of communications and connectivity, always. In the long term, the higher the risks of vendor lock-in and offset by the value of the consultancy that the vendor is able to offer. For instance, an upgrade to high-performance fiber-based broadband could help your people perform their applications-based tasks up to five times faster than a conventional Internet connection!
Connectivity — that’s what separates the enterprises from the small players. If you wish to make your business big anytime soon, you need to adopt enterprise-grade connectivity solutions today. Stick to the guidelines of this guide, and you’ll do all right.
Featured image: Pixabay