For many of us that are at the helm of running a business, it is easy for us to recall a time that we ran our day-to-day business.... without the internet. *GASP*. For those of you that cannot pull upon those memories, let's just say that we were all working at a slower pace. Literally.
I remember when the internet first showed up in my workplace. "Well hello there, little techie tool. What, exactly, can you do for me to assist me in being more productive?" At that time, the answer was NOTHING. It was still a novelty. Not a valuable business tool. It would take some time before I, and others like me, would grow to understand just how much the world was changing with access to the world wide web.
It started out as a small tick, then a louder banging at our door, to finally, an explosion. Access to the internet had become the number one tool needed to conduct business. Any business.
In the early 2000's I transitioned my career path. I moved from a very nice career in the performing arts to a career in technology. It was a new venture started upon the suggestion of trusted mentor and friend. I was intrigued and ready to dive head first into this new world. During that time period, if you listened very closed, you could still hear the very faint "buzz, bing bing, hissssss" of the dying technology of dial up internet. We had all just tossed out our latest AOL Internet free trial CD that we received in the mail for the fifth time that month. We were ready for something new! Ahhhh....DSL Broadband was here to save the day. Then came the internet T1 and coax cable internet. We thought we were moving at light speed!
Then it happened. BANG! Almost seemingly overnight. Everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING began to run over, and become dependent upon, the internet. Take a look around you. If you were to shut down your internet connection right now, could you continue to run your business? Chances are, you may be able to limp by temporarily, but it would be very challenging to remain profitable.
Everything has moved to the cloud, with good reason. Removing points of vulnerability at your physical location is just good business. Moving to the cloud means that fire, inclement weather, flooding and other catastrophes cannot render your business incapacitated. All of your information, information systems, and communications systems are housed in cloud based data centers. Making the transition to cloud based business solutions is, quite frankly, the best insurance policy that any business owner can invest in.
With the transition to cloud, it is imperative to also look at what powers your highway to connect to your systems and information. How your business accesses the internet is tantamount to how successful your business will be.
It is also important to take into consideration other sources of "drain" of your business bandwidth. Take a look around the conference room during your next meeting, look around the dining area of your successful casual dining restaurant, or any other business gathering. Chances are, almost everyone that you see has a cell phone, a smartwatch, a tablet, a laptop. You may be video streaming your weekly meeting with a sister location. Your IP phone system connects you to customers and colleagues. Your restaurant patrons may be enjoying streaming television in your bar or dining area. Your school classrooms may have also made the transition to smart boards. These are all wonderful advancements and creature comforts, and all brought to you by...you guessed it...YOUR internet connection. Do you have what it takes?
When making critical business internet decisions these days, it is important to take into consideration all of the vital and fringe services that depend upon the most reliable internet service delivery available.
Without a doubt, in 2019, the answer is clear. Fiber. Fiber-based internet is not just for mega-companies any longer. Each and every business needs to take inventory and take a step forward into fiber based internet service. Many large providers such as Spectrum, ACC, Windstream, MediaCom, along with others have recognized the extreme need for fiber, no matter the size of the business. In response, they have expanded their networks, expanded their offerings and made it more affordable.
Years from now we may look back upon this and chuckle, maybe because a new technology has rendered fiber based internet services much the same as dial-up. Coming from the vantage point of a technology and communications consultant, that is many years away.
Until that day comes, do the right thing for your business. Speak with your technology and communications consultant about fiber internet. Get a fair assessment of your environment from an unbiased vantage point. It is simply the best thing you can do for your business in 2019!
Cheers to everyone's greater success!