Fairfax / Newcastle Herald column February, 2016
After years of waiting, the National Broadband Network has arrived in Newcastle and local companies can finally take advantage of the benefits of higher speed broadband to grow their businesses nationally or even globally.
While several reports have indicted that Hunter businesses are lagging when it comes to digital adoption, the arrival of the NBN might be the catalyst to faster, more efficient business.
According to a 2014 survey by the Pew Research Center, 94 per cent of jobholders are internet users and 54 per cent say the internet is important to doing their jobs. It stands to reason that the more efficient the connection to internet is, the more productive work you can achieve compared to today’s slow options.
Grow your customer base
High speed broadband helps businesses to operate with greater speed, using more sophisticated technologies to enable enhanced connectivity and collaboration. Access to fast, reliable broadband brings video conferencing to life allowing you to conduct meetings, regardless of location, face to face without leaving your desk. Imagine how much time and travel expense you can save? It also has the benefit of improving the online experience for your customers and remove potential geographic barriers, providing your business with greater flexibility and increased access to global markets. You’ll have the potential to sell new products and services, exploit new channels to market and to offer services globally.
The opportunity to improve your operational efficiencies and change the way you do business in the future is significant. In fact, a study of 600 businesses in North America found that companies adopting broadband-enabled technologies experienced 27-31 per cent revenue increases.
Build your best team
The widespread availability of fast, reliable broadband allows for more flexible working arrangements and the ability to open up new employment opportunities, including those in more remote locations.
A superior connection allows for faster sharing of large files and easier, better collaboration between your company and customers or vendors. These days the idea of “work as a place” is changing and so bringing together the best possible team regardless of location can be a significant advantage. This sort of work flexibility can lead to increased productivity, greater employee satisfaction, and reduced travel and importantly, save money in the long term.
Meanwhile, platforms like Huddle allow users to share a secure workspace and collaborate on projects, documents, share videos, use shared whiteboards, all in a completely paperless way.
In my own business, even with slow old ADSL broadband, we now collaborate with a team of amazing people in Brisbane, Sydney, New Zealand, Colorado and Canada in order to deliver our services to our clients. By being early adopters of digital technology and marketing we have been fortunate enough to work with clients in USA, Europe, NZ and Australia-wide. This is only going to improve with the NBN and it can for you too.