The Great British Byte Banquet

Mobile technology has become an essential part of everyday life. From mobile phones, tablets and laptops, we access the internet almost constantly; at home, work or on the move. We’re glued to our devices. In response to this businesses are increasingly taking advantage of these technologies with their employees.

Workforces are becoming more flexible and the typical 9 to 5 hours are becoming a thing of the past. Cloud computing and implementing remote working infrastructure are just a couple of ways the way we use data is changing. Because of all these developments, the UK is now consuming up to 765 billion bits of data every second.

To put the existing data consumption into context, on the average day, the Virgin Media network drove 4.2 petabytes of data, that’s 4.2 million billion bytes. This daily banquet of data is equivalent of every person in the UK downloading 1.4 billion PowerPoint presentations (average 3MB each) in 24 hours.

This hunger for data is only set to rise as well. We’ve seen the volume of data resulting from email and voice interactions, video streaming and web browsing across our super-fast fibre optic network rise nearly a third in six months.

This is a record breaking increase of 27 per cent. With new streaming services, such as Netflix and Lovefilm, launching, video streaming use looks like one area where the amount of data we need will rise further. Our hunger for data is far from sated.

Organisations and individuals are accessing more data and applications over the web and secure connections than ever before. Businesses need to consider that with this increase in data appetite comes a need for an unconstrained network infrastructure.

This means suppliers need to move away from costly “bit by bit” bandwidth upgrades and start giving businesses all the bandwidth they can eat, up front and without constraints. Smart organisations should start thinking now about whether they have the right infrastructure in place to cope, if they’re to avoid putting staff on a data-controlled diet.

Employees spending more time downloading and using data is basically a good thing for employers. As the line between consumer and work devices blur, companies will be able to take advantage of this new tech-literate employee.

Their familiarity with technology and conditioning to be online more often means they will be able to work more flexibly and pick up new technology skills more easily, making for a more productive workforce, and increased channels of communications for customers.

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Mark Heraghty was appointed as Managing Director for Virgin Media Business in June 2009. He leads the Business Division’s senior management team with direct responsibilities for the leadership of sales, marketing, product management and customer operations in the UK business market with a focus on spearheading growth. He is one of the most experienced and capable business-to-business telecoms executives in the UK and brings with him a wealth of knowledge. Mark has been involved with the telecommunications industry for the last 17 years, previously as CEO UK and Europe for Cable and Wireless and more recently with Reliance Globalcom, where he was President EMEA, with regional responsibility for the former FLAG Telecom and Vanco businesses that Reliance acquired in 2004 and 2008. Mark holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Trinity College Dublin (1985) and an MBA awarded by Warwick University Business School (1992).