5 ways better connectivity can boost your business

Why connectivity is imperative in today’s world.

Many businesses were forced online during the pandemic. Here's how you can further your business by adopting better connectivity, online and through devices.

Why connectivity is imperative for SMEs in today’s world

During the past five years, broadband speeds have almost doubled. In 2017, the average speed hit 39 Mbps. By 2022, the figure increased to 75 Mbps and continues to rise.

With the world becoming more reliant on technology, businesses can no longer afford to skimp on Wi-Fi because the potential drawbacks are too risky.

Research conducted by FBS noted that 31% of businesses have their growth impacted by slow broadband, with 26% having lost sales due to connection issues.

This number can have a significant impact on SMEs progress. If your operating system is too slow or crashes, clients and customers will go to your competitors.

While high-speed connectivity is the foundation of any digital transition to ensure businesses stay connected: you need to go beyond that to stand out.

Mobile applications, connected platforms, and IoT devices, can help your business reach its potential on a greater scale by providing new ways to collaborate and communicate with customers and clients.

Read on for a list of benefits being connected can provide to businesses

Streamlines organisational efficiency

IoT devices have shaped connectivity in the workforce by analysing its surroundings and converting their findings into data, which is instantly accessible to employees to report back on.

Farmers are reaping the benefits of connected devices by getting cows ingesting IoT sensors. The devices are used to monitor cattle health and allow farmers to detect problems before they spread.

The connected tool has provided data on PH levels, inner body temperature and movement activity, which has seen a decrease in vet expenses.

Your local farmer isn’t the only one harnessing the benefits of connectivity. Connected tools have improved efficiency in organisations by 57%.

Businesses are optimising their workforce time by using connected technology to undertake lengthier tasks, such as adding customer details to a spreadsheet. Some businesses have reported that this can reduced human error and can alleviate pressure from employees and allow them to focus their attention on streamlining processes and increasing profits.

Enhances the customer experience

As of May 2022, Australian airline Qantas had carried over 15 million passengers around the world.

Quantus is the world's second oldest airline and has made changes to implement new onboard tools to improve customer services.

One is Yammer, a corporate social platform in Office 365. The app enables the crew to access instant feedback from colleagues around the world, as well as information on each passenger on board.

With connected devices allowing staff to stay in contact with colleagues in real time, work performance has become easier to monitor and driven employees to provide better customer services.

Remote collaborative tools have allowed employees to tailor a customer's experience to their needs by giving them better visibility and a space to provide instant feedback.

Not only has this increased satisfaction among passengers - improving the quality of their experience by 51% – but it has also kept the crew connected, allowing for a seamless operation.

With larger companies, like Qantas, adopting a collaborative and connected mode of communication among its staff and customers, it's important smaller businesses do the same. It will allow your staff to work more responsively while having immediate access to data and collaboration tools ­– increasing their engagement.

Gives your business more security

Nearly 4 million records within companies were breached during one month alone in 2022, with 88 publicly disclosed cyberattacks.

In February 2019, approximately 46 Mumsnet users involuntarily logged onto a stranger's account. The data breach lasted 2 days, which saw users having access to each other’s email addresses, account details, post history, and personal messages.

The UK parenting site was quick to apologise to users, stating they were “Working urgently to discover how the breach had happened. But the damage had already been done and the trust was already compromised.

Mumsnet is not alone.

According to consulting firm McKinsey, 87% of customers won’t do business with a company if they have concerns about its security and protection of their data.

With SMEs commonly being a high target for cybercriminals, investing in connected devices with built-in zero-trust systems can further your reach and reputation with consumers and clients, making your business more secure.

Unlocks new sources of revenue

There are countless other ways that connectivity can unlock new sources of revenue: constant accessibility is high on clients’ and customers’ demands.

By the end of 2020, 94% of UK homes had internet access due to the increased dependence on online services during the global pandemic.

People now expect businesses to be readily available 24 hours a day, especially online. This has led to an increase in demand for virtual assistance powered by AI and mobile technology to ensure these ‘virtual fronts’ are running efficiently.

Those that have embraced AI and cloud technologies for customer service have seen a 6% increase in revenue. Reasons could point toward digital support platforms, such as Zendesk, continuing to interact with customers and clients even when offline – making sales and managing inquiries.

Increases employee satisfaction

Workforces no longer prioritise on-site yoga and free fruit Fridays: they want flexibility and connectivity.

As businesses embrace a hybrid working approach, SMEs need to have a more connected infrastructure to appeal to employees.

Workforce satisfaction has increased since the move to hybrid working, with 28% of employees stating they no longer feel held back by technology, as these better-connected devices are allowing them to work where they want, when they want.

The demand to invest in connected tools to carry out work has already been taken on by bigger enterprises, increasing the pressure for SMEs to follow suit.

Global accommodation company, Airbnb, announced they were enforcing a ‘work from anywhere’ policy, peaking interest across countries. More than 1 million people visited Airbnb’s career page in the first week following the announcement.

According to Brian Chesky, the CEO of Airbnb, the move to hybrid working has unlocked a new wave of possibilities and opportunities, not just for employees but for the company too.

“One of the benefits of flexibility is increased diversity. By recruiting from a diverse set of communities, we will become a more diverse company. If we limit our talent pool to the commuting radius around our offices, we would be at a significant disadvantage,” he says.

Flexible hybrid working and better connectivity can potentially bring an estimated 4 million new people into the workforce, giving companies access to a wider talent pool.

What connectivity means for the future of business

Being present online can also be used as a gateway to in-person connections. Your employees, customers and clients are operating across virtual and physical spaces: connecting to them in both can increase efficiency.

In short, investing in secure connected devices and fast broadband can allow your business to exist continuously – even if only virtually. This can further your reach to potential partnerships, improve employee satisfaction by making work easier and enhance customer experience by being more accessible.

Want more help and support? Speak to our expert V-Hub Business Advisers, who offer tailored guidance on a range of topics.

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