A case study is used to illustrate the importance of external connectivity when selecting and preparing a new site, and how it effects business processes.
- [Instructor] The best way for me to present this next point is with a story. Some associates of mine were running a manufacturing company. They were starting to grow and prepared to move into a new space. The new location had ample office space to expand and even to sub-let a portion of the suite until they grew into it. It had a nice size warehouse and fabrication space, the location was great, the price was good, a lease was signed, and the build-out commenced. And then they reached out to me to help them design their IT infrastructure.
So far, everything looked good. The problem came when we looked at our options for internet connectivity. The industrial complex had not been a priority for the phone or cable companies, so they were stuck with internet access that was just 1% of what the executives could get at their homes, only 15 to 30 minutes away. But the lease had already been signed. The build-out was almost complete. This building was going to be their new location in a matter of days.
And I've asked the operations manager what this limitation of slow internet connectivity meant for him. Timely access to accurate information between multiple states and continents is very hard to achieve with this limited internet access. Their site selection was requiring them to redesign operations to ensure compliance of their reports to shareholders and to other stakeholders. In short, not knowing about this limitation until it was too late to change, put his job in jeopardy.
He acknowledged that earlier awareness might not have changed their decision to move into this site. He would, however, have been better prepared and could have redesigned those work processes to function within these limitations. Now this story has a happy ending. I went to visit my friend at his office several months later and we saw the fiber team from the phone company working outside and thought happy days are here again. I reminded him of the design of their network and how easy it would be to change from the cheap DSL to the faster solution.
I think I even offered to swing by and move the cable from one modem to the other for free in exchange for permission to tell his story and with only slight modifications to their wireless configuration, they're now having a very different experience with their local network. Here's the moral of the story. Always ask what internet and phone options exist as part of considering a new location and involve your IT strategist and network administrator to understand what those options mean for the way you do business.
Take a look at your needs. Consider how you use the internet now. Do you use video calls as a primary means of communicating with vendors or with traveling employees? If so, that will increase the importance of reliable and fast internet connectivity at your office. Also, what types of information and other content do you share and access from your location? Also consider what growth plans you have and what strategies you have for technology over the next year or so.
If you're considering moving some resources to the cloud, but your connectivity is sub-par, that will cause you some problems. Ask yourself what concessions you'll be willing to make and consider the cost of doing business in that location as one of the factors before you sign the lease, so that you can include it in determining how your company will work in the new space.
- Including IT in strategy
- What does IT bring to strategy?
- Communicating the big picture
- Selecting and evaluating the effectiveness of training and development activities
- Choosing the right hardware, platforms, and applications
- Who owns the devices?
- Site planning
- External and internal connectivity