The last year-and-a-bit has been very challenging for businesses, especially those who’ve had to shut their doors for long periods due to lockdown restrictions. And although we may not be out of the woods quite yet, it looks like normality is just around the corner.
Offices, retail stores and businesses within the hospitality industry have all gradually reopened in recent months — with a tentative aim to get UK workplaces back to full capacity by June 21st, when there’ll be no limit on social contact.
If all goes to plan, things are going to get very busy, very quickly. In which case, businesses nationwide will need to ensure they have the infrastructure to handle the sudden spike in activity from both customers and staff.
For many businesses, this may mean upgrading your current internet connectivity to something faster and more reliable to cope with the increased demand. If you currently have standard broadband, then a leased line (sometimes referred to as business ethernet) will probably better meet these requirements.
A leased line is essentially fibre-optic that runs directly to the premises and isn’t shared by anyone else. In other words, it is a dedicated line set up to serve only your company. As such, leased lines can offer symmetrical speeds of up to 10Gbs, ten times faster than regular fibre.
Furthermore, leased lines are considered the gold standard in terms of connection quality and reliability, making them ideal for organisations that require an uncompromised and consistent data connection.
Another option is SoGEA (Single order Generic Ethernet Access), which is a dedicated line, of sorts, in that it is reserved solely for internet and does not require a phone line. You receive exactly the same performance as FTTC or GFast, so not quite as speedy as a leased line, but it may be a viable alternative depending on your budget and requirements.
With this in mind, here are three statistics to suggest you may need to upgrade your business internet in preparation for coming out of lockdown.
Half of all UK workplaces expect remote working to continue post-lockdown (source. O2, ICM, YouGov)
Businesses across the country were forced to adopt remote working conditions during lockdown. However, reports suggest that employers now recognise the benefits, with more than half expected to continue giving staff the flexibility to work from home.
This kind of setup requires an extensive, unified comms system with fast and flexible internet to support hosted telephone systems, remote network access and various other forms of media sharing.
59% of customers will continue to spend more online (source. ChanelAdvisor, Dynata)
In the wake of the pandemic, online sales sky-rocketed. Predictably, many of these sales were attributed to sectors that have historically dominated the ecommerce space, such as fashion and tech. Still, the crisis has seen less likely industries sell online also. These include restaurants and pubs, offering customers click-to-collect, and many B2B companies, facilitating the sale of their services through ecommerce.
Why is this important? Well, it looks like this isn’t going to suddenly stop when lockdown ends. Customers are keen to continue shopping online — citing cost, convenience and safety as the main reasons. As a result, businesses will require a robust and reliable internet connection to cope with the increased demand on various systems and processes that support their online sales model.
Leisure travel is expected to skyrocket but business travel will drop-off (source. McKinsey)
Circling back to what we said earlier about continued remote working, it looks as though businesses will be travelling a lot less in general, especially now that video conferencing has become the preferred method for businesses to meet. This essentially comes down to the practicality, efficiency and convenience of video conferencing over long-distance travel. Still, it’s also worth noting that more businesses are conscious of their environmental impact, adopting new ways of increasing their sustainability efforts. Regardless of the driving force, companies will need to ensure they have the connectivity to handle quality video.
Meanwhile, leisure travel is expected to take a massive upturn, as people will be keen to get out and about when restrictions are lifted. There is a building demand for national and international travel, which means businesses in the travel and hospitality sector will need to equip themselves to manage the surge of inquiries, bookings and processing, most of which are handled online.
Why choose Fidelity Group for your business internet
While the transition out of lockdown is going to be hugely beneficial to businesses, it’s also going to put a massive strain on those who are unprepared for the sudden spike in activity from both customers and staff.
At Fidelity Group, we can help get you up to speed, establishing a service based on your internet requirements, ensuring solutions remain tailored now and in the longer term. We then bolster this with 24/7/365 dedicated technical support, keeping your business connected, providing first-rate assistance whenever you need us. See what our clients have to say by visiting our Trustpilot review page here.
For more information about our data services, speak to a member of our team today.