Three ways you can help organisations avoid networking short-termism
By Dale Parkinson, Wholesale Sales Director
December 17th 2020
2020 showed the channel just how important connectivity is.
In fact, 47% of the workforce were working from home last year, connecting with their colleagues virtually, according to the ONS.
To survive and stabilise, your end customers were forced to switch to the cloud to support this remote working revolution and serve consumers online. And it was the underlying networks that kept everyone collaborating.
To understand the impact of Covid-19 on your end-customers’ connectivity infrastructure requirements, we commissioned research into their perceptions of their networks and experiences over the last year.
Our study revealed that 77% felt hindered by their networks in responding to the pandemic. But just 23% of organisations see investing in their connectivity infrastructure as a top organisational priority.
This is partly because senior IT managers just aren’t thinking the right way about their connectivity infrastructure. Only 43% of your potential end customers see networking solutions as a long-term investment.
This suggests many businesses aren’t recognising the true importance of networking technologies in long-term success and its ability to fuel the Covid-19 rebound.
Here are three ways you can help your end-customers avoid the traps of networking short-termism and take a more strategic view of connectivity infrastructure.
1. Show that networks do more than meeting immediate needs
It’s easy to understand why your end customers are focused on immediate needs.
During periods of tighter coronavirus restrictions, the priority is to keep projects moving, employees connected and customers served, as leaders look to survive and stabilise.
But networks have a critical long-term role to play, too, which you and your end-customers can’t ignore.
Networks can permanently boost organisational flexibility and agility. Businesses that invest in upgrading networks will be better able to respond to sudden events in future, such as sudden new restrictions due to another Covid strain, or another disruptive “Black Swan” event.
They’ll also be better placed to support new working models that emerge after the vaccine rollout. This is because universal remote working isn’t going to last forever. Mass immunisation will eventually allow staff to return to the office.
This will usher in a hybrid working model, with employees collaborating from different locations, including the office, their desks at home and perhaps even a socially distanced café.
And this will heighten the need for advanced connectivity solutions like National High Capacity Services, capable of supporting massive data transfers across lots of different locations.
Networks won’t just help UK plc to survive and stabilise in the face of another national lockdown. They’re also fundamental to its ability to rebound after the vaccine rollout and fuel long-term success.
Getting closer to your end-customers and emphasising this message will be critical to your future success.
2. Thinking long-term about network security
2020 didn’t just bring a pandemic. It was also the worst year on record for the amount of data exposed, with over 36 billion records released. A cyber-attack now occurs every 39 seconds.
The average cost of a data breach is £2.9 million, meaning you and your end customers are at risk of devastating financial losses if they do not protect themselves.
But an effective cybersecurity strategy can’t just look at the short term.
Cyber-threats are constantly evolving and growing in sophistication. A solution might seem secure today but could be unfit to deal with tomorrow’s threats.
This is why investing in point-to-point connectivity services is critical. Private network solutions are difficult to intercept, making them more resilient over the long-term than other connectivity products, even with the growing sophistication of cyber-attacks.
By drawing attention to advanced networking technologies, wholesale partners can establish themselves as truly strategic consultants capable of identifying not just the opportunities but risks to end-customers.
3. Highlight the benefits of network scalability
31% of your potential end customers said they’re unconvinced their networks could give them scalability if their data needs were to increase.
It’s another sign of networking short-termism. A failure to recognise the role of advanced connectivity technologies in driving growth. This is partly because of the understandable focus on survival and stabilisation amid national lockdown restrictions.
But with vaccines bringing light at the end of the tunnel, your end-customers will soon be thinking about how to grow and gain an edge on their competitors.
And you can encourage them to prepare by ensuring they have the tools to support a sudden growth burst and the expansion in consumer demand this would bring.
Business leaders shouldn’t have to worry about whether their organisation can cope with an upsurge in demand. Your end-customers should be able to empower commercial growth without feeling held back by security concerns.
Getting closer to your end-customers
Helping businesses change their thinking about the impact of networking technologies won’t just bring them commercial benefits.
It’ll also challenge perceptions that wholesale partners are sometimes not providing end-customers with enough consultancy. 33% of organisations feel their relationship with their channel supplier is too transactional, and 31% don’t currently feel that they’re getting enough knowledge or expertise, according to our study.
Getting closer to your end-customers and helping them think more strategically about networking technologies will strengthen your relationships and ultimately set UK plc up to rebound once the national lockdown is lifted.
What will be your next move? Make sure you read the full research findings here.