If there’s one part of your business infrastructure that you really need to nail, it’s your connectivity. It’s the underlying service that makes all your other tech and systems either sink or swim, based on its reliability. And like all other tech, it’s availability and options have expanded considerably meaning that it’s not always easy for businesses to know if they’ve got it right.
As a general rule, over the last few years, connections have got faster while prices have got cheaper – meaning that if you’ve had your connectivity solution a while you’re probably paying over the odds for an inferior solution. And if you’ve got an inferior solution by way of speed, resilience or reliability, the tech you place over the top, especially anything that’s cloud-based, simply won’t work as it should.
So, what are the obvious signs that it’s time to review your connectivity? Here are the five we see most often from our customers:
1. It’s painfully slow
It seems obvious, but many businesses simply ignore or accept it. In the 21st century with robust infrastructure throughout the UK, you should be able to have all your devices and applications online at the same time and connecting instantly. If you’re spending your day waiting for your browser to load or have to put the kettle on while you download a file, you have a problem. It’s a 5 minute job to ask an impartial internet provider to run a speed test on your postcode and let you know what speeds you should be achieving with the right solution.
A lot of connectivity isn’t slow all the time, but the moment you’re on that VoIP call with an important client or you’re in a rush to download a file to meet a deadline, your connectivity suddenly drops and you sound like a jittery alien or your download slows down to a snail’s pace. It may only be occasional slow downloads or call quality, but these are signs that your connection is struggling due to poor grade broadband where there is too much traffic on your connection, or your leased line may have seen better days. These are immediate warning signs that it’s time to review your connectivity options as your needs may have outgrown your current solution.
3. You have drop outs or loss of connection
This is the most frustrating experience. One minute you’re having a productive Microsoft Teams meeting, then BANG, you’re offline! If you’re on broadband, this could mean that you’ll be offline while your router reconnects – not so bad, right? But if this is a regular occurrence, it will be affecting both your employee productivity and your customer experience which both have a significant impact on your business success. You need a solid connection that’s always there, keeping your systems and devices online whether you need it at that exact moment or not.
Bad news travels fast, so check the quality of your connection by listening to the people around you. If everyone’s complaining about problems getting their work done because of poor connectivity, it’s time to investigate. People like to be able to do their jobs with ease, so when they can’t they get frustrated. Take time to listen to their issues to understand whether it’s the speed, reliability or maybe router issues that are holding them back. If you’ve got a growing team it may be that you’re stretching the bandwidth too thin, or it could be that some of your newer business applications require more resilience to work at their best.
5. You’re not paying enough
This is a tricky one, but is something you need to be aware of. Bandwidth demands and availability are growing exponentially, but prices are getting ever more competitive. Therefore, you need to do your research or you could end up buying a solution that looks like a bargain but isn’t right for your business needs. It’s important to understand exactly what you’re buying, together with the underlying infrastructure before you sign up. It could be broadband pretending to be a leased line or a heavily traffic-managed circuit where the ‘maximum’ speeds that you’re promised are never delivered. So, if you’re presented with something that looks too good to be true, it probably is!
The thing to always remember is just how important your connectivity is as your way to communicate with the outside world. Take time to evaluate how much you could be losing through slow speeds and connection dropouts and whether you’re getting the quality of service you need.
If you’ve noticed any of the signs above or have any concerns about whether your connectivity is good enough for your business needs, both now and in the future, please do talk to one of our in-house connectivity experts. As an agnostic supplier we can advise on every options from fibre broadband to dedicated leased lines, working with you to ensure that your connectivity makes your days easy and enjoyable for everyone.