The connectivity space has changed drastically in the last decade mainly due to the decreasing cost of connectivity year on year, writes Vishal Barapatre, Chief Technology Officer at In2IT Technologies. While the cost of bandwidth continues to come down, the stability and security of connectivity available to businesses have increased.

Thanks to changes in technology from Leased Lines, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) and Internet through to SD-WAN and dedicated connectivity with broadband, and now the evolution from 4G to 5G – businesses no longer have to choose between speed and capacity when it comes to commercial connectivity. Soon 5G will be the new enterprise standard, making it essential to pay attention to this evolution and invest in connectivity that is modern, relevant and capable, or risk being left behind as other businesses power on ahead, fuelled by connectivity that matches their digital ambitions.

The new speed of business

As more businesses take to the cloud and explore the opportunities in the Internet of Things services and technologies, there is a growing pressure to provide the connectivity that can handle such varied, intensive demands. One of the key trends influencing the speed at which we can do business is the move to the cloud. To get there, organisations require robust, secure connectivity in order to take advantage of modern cloud architecture that requires enhanced integration between apps in order to execute their functions.

Another factor reinforcing the need for better connectivity a rapidly growing mobile workforce – according to Strategy Analytics’ ‘Global Mobile Workforce Forecast Update 2017-2023’, the world’s mobile workforce will swell to 1.88 billion people and account for 43.3% of the workforce total in 2023. In order to accommodate this shifting workforce dynamics, enterprises will need to establish secure, stable connectivity in order to evolve their technology consumption to become more open and agile.

Investing in connectivity wisely

While there are many connectivity options that businesses can invest in today, cost still remains a major concern for most, especially during an economic slump. However, given that business today is near impossible without Internet connectivity, it’s important to bear in mind that it’s not a luxury, it’s an absolute necessity.

For example, we have seen organisations move from MPLS to Internet-based connectivity, effectively cutting costs by as much as 50%. Furthermore, businesses now have greater choice, and for global companies, it’s now possible for each branch location to choose a provider that offers the best services at an affordable price and delivers on their promises.

It’s a digital evolution not a revolution

For employees that do their best work outside of the office, 4G and 5G now offer the best flexibility and choice for businesses, especially smaller organisations, as there is the added benefit of choosing when to use the service, effectively providing connectivity on-demand. SD-WAN still has an important role to play in reducing costs, improving security, enhancing agility and help build a platform for future technology innovation, because it is still one of the most effective ways to connect business network endpoints, like branch offices and data centres, creating adaptive networks to suit specific organisational needs while lowering operational costs, gradually shifting IT models toward consuming architecture, applications and business functionality as a service.

The cost of ensuring sustainability and relevance

While the biggest cost associated with connectivity today is the recurring annual cost of bandwidth along with operational spend, both expenditures are critical to secure sustainability and relevance. Ultimately, the best financial outcome is only possible when companies do their due diligence and plan ahead when investing in connectivity.

Additionally, organisations need to remember that speed of the connectivity alone is insufficient for sustainability, and thus they should place just as much emphasis on security measures that will both protect and enable every connection that the business requires.

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