Heading for the cloud? Don’t forget your broadband

This week I was reading a case study of a small business that sells beauty products.

The business has recently switched to doing all its customer support and most of it’s day-to-day paperwork and planning through an online company that sells software as a service (SaaS), i.e. the whole thing is hosted up in the cloud.

As the business’ owners talked through how vital their support infrastructure was – to sell products, communicate with sales staff and just increase productivity levels in their fast-growing company – I found myself thinking, ‘I wonder what their broadband’s like.’

Sure enough, at the end of article, the IT manager admitted that they’d become jittery about losing their connection.

They’d installed a dedicated line, which is just what it sounds like: a faster, more reliable connection that isn’t shared with anyone else.

BT even offer a refund if the connection is disrupted.

But for all those good points it’s an expensive option and considering that switching to SaaS and other cloud computing options is often sold as a cost-cutting measure, that’s an important consideration.

More broadly, it made me consider the challenges facing rural businesses.

We often hear that faster broadband in harder to reach areas would increase productivity and allow companies to fully engage with their customer base online. All well and good.

But cloud computing can form a much more integral part of SME’s day-to-day running.

SHARETweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestDigg thisShare on RedditShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Julia Kukiewicz is editor of consumer information site Choose. The site offers market research and debate into the home media and mobile and personal finance industries, as well as covering rights issues for consumers. Follow Choose for more on twitter at @choosenet.