The integration of local and global markets in a global economy leads to the interconnectedness of national economies and is changing the business landscape in South Africa. Due to developments in IT, transportation, and communication, the pace of globalisation has accelerated, and the Internet has permitted fast and 24/7 global communication.
The popularity of social media has made national boundaries irrelevant as prosumers use new forms of content creation, collaboration, and communication. Marketing specialists have had to adopt to the extensive use of smartphones which enabled global shoppers to have access to ‘virtual’ global markets and are utilising new methods to target both national and international consumers.
Consumers and producers are sourcing globally for the cheapest products and materials and the reductions in cost can generate increased profits for shareholders. Globalisation has also required companies to provide consumers with adequate communication networks in terms of speed and volume of data transmissions, bandwidth, portability, and the quality of communication. Consequently, fibre optics, satellite communication and new generation networks are realities. Unreliable Internet connections have real costs to businesses and any unplanned downtime can bring business communications and productivity to a complete stop.
The new business scenario and fibre optics
The technology that has enabled modern fibre optics has had a long history and it is nearly a hundred and fifty years since Field laid the first transatlantic cable, and by the end of the 1980s a glass cable covered the distance between Tuckerton (USA) and Penmarch (France), passing through Widemouth Bay (UK). Currently, about the width of a garden hose, 700,000 miles or 1126540,8 kilometers of cables lie beneath the waves of our oceans relaying the world’s Internet and telephone traffic.
Today, fibre optics offer companies guaranteed operation and most customers experience the benefits of speed of transmission, bandwidth, and reliability. Fibre-optic Internet is faster than even the highest-speed copper Internet connections, with options available that range from 5 Mbps to 10 Gbps meaning that productivity is not affected as is the case with copper line transmission.
Companies also now have cloud access enabling a range of activities from its use for customer relationship management (CRM) tools to data storage. The cloud is an important business tool for apps and service hosting, faster access to data and applications stored in the cloud. Since fibre is much stronger than copper, Internet connectivity is significantly more reliable than copper Internet connectivity.
Fibre optic Internet is not susceptible to inclement weather conditions and is resistant to human and electrical interference. The signal strength of fibre-optic Internet does not degrade over distance and organisations in operating in large spaces benefit from better signal strength throughout their facilities.
Businesses with a need for large amounts of data transmission, the bandwidth availability of fibre optics is significantly higher, and speed does not decrease as high demands are put on the network. This is specifically true with regards to the increasing use of web conferencing, high definition video streaming and file sharing.
With fiber Internet, employees can benefit from equal upload and download times also referred to as symmetric speed. Symmetric speed enables users to accommodate heavy demands on downloads and uploads simultaneously via their data connection. Fiber optic Internet also eliminates latency issues users experience particularly when downloading or uploading video or high-definition content. The business benefits of lowering your latency could include better voice quality for VoIP users, moving more apps to the cloud and improved collaboration between employees.
Since the only way to penetrate fiber-optic Internet is to physically cut the fibers, causing the signal to disappear, fiber optic Internet increases companies’ protection against cybercrime. All companies are at significant risk of an attack and although an upgrade to fiber optic Internet connectivity will not all risks, it is an important means of protection.
Businesses gain flexibility and scalability with fiber optic Internet connectivity. Software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud storage, and VoIP are all business services that have significant potential for cost savings and benefit significantly from fiber connectivity. Despite the increased costs of fiber Internet service and the financial investment required for installation, many businesses believe they can achieve a high ROI due to productivity and availability gains. Fibre optic Internet enable companies to address both the increase in customers’ demand for bandwidth and the deployment of new business lines, associated with future developments, products, and services.
Despite the cost of installation, organisations should consider that in a global economy, a disconnected company is condemned to disappear. The pursuit of any business activity without considering the fibre optic market is tantamount to corporate suicide.