Let’s talk about your bandwidth.
 
Bandwidth, Heinan? Really?
 
Yes, really.
 
It’s not a particularly sexy topic, but it’s one that can have crippling effects on our productivity (and therefore our revenue) if we don’t give it proper attention.
 

What’s the big deal?

The big deal is that businesses are increasingly going all-in with cloud computing.
 
According to RightScale’s 2017 State of the Cloud Survey, companies now run 79% of workloads in the cloud on average. This means that 79% of our workloads are fully dependent on the internet, since that’s always our vector into any cloud solution.
 

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In other words, we’re putting a heavy, heavy burden on our internet connections, which can only handle a finite amount of demand before your performance tanks, your people start getting all kinds of frustrated because they can’t get their work done, and your clients start getting equally frustrated with your turnaround times.
 
It’s a problem that is more complex than it might seem – one that transcends technology and hits on strategic planning and HR policy as well.
 

Key elements of a proper bandwidth strategy

To make sure your company has a solid bandwidth strategy in place, consider the following:

  • Is your office bandwidth of sufficient quantity and quality?
  • If not, what other business-grade solutions are available to you, and what will it take to implement them?
  • Do you have a secondary internet line that will automatically take the load if your primary line fails?
  • What if all your internet access – primary and secondary – goes down? What is your contingency plan?
  • Have you created a remote work policy that outlines the minimum bandwidth requirements for your remote workers so they can be productive?
  • Is your organization willing to foot the bill for acceptable internet for your remote workers?
  • If a remote worker’s internet access goes down, what specifically do you expect them to do in order to continue working?

Think through each of these, and create formal written policies and procedures wherever appropriate. Wrap them into your technology strategy, your business strategy, and your new employee onboarding routine.
 

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It’s not a quick or easy process, but it’s one we all need to take the time to work through if we intend to be our most productive and most effective as a business.
 
Because while the cloud can do wonders for our mobility, flexibility, scalability, and security, our experience will only be as good as the connection behind it.
 

 
As originally published in the American City Business Journals 

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