In 2017, every company is a tech company. The UK is seeing a record number of startups, often whose entrepreneurs were only armed with their laptops in the early stages. Simultaneously, traditional sectors are undergoing a digital transformation, with Goldman Sachs employing more programmers and engineers than Facebook to work on tech matters.
The first indicators of future tech demands are already visible. Virtual reality is marketed as the future of interviews, going up a grade on the customary phone or Skype calls. Moreover, established universities are incorporating Blockchain into their courses, in anticipation of the mainstream adoption of Blockchain technology.
These new technologies will make even greater demands of buildings’ digital infrastructure. And while tenants aren’t necessarily deploying all these technologies now, landlords and developers cannot afford to rest on their laurels.
The massive growth in cloud adoption is already testing the existing digital infrastructure of many offices, as access to data and services becomes entirely dependent on reliable, high quality internet. In fact, according to a recent report from cloud security vendor Zscaler, many organisations are not able to take full advantage of Office 365, the world’s most popular SaaS platform, due to issues with connectivity.
The report indicated that almost two thirds of users (64 per cent) have suffered network issues when using Office 365 and 45 per cent reported they had been unable to access critical business material following its deployment.
No matter what technologies businesses adopt, the necessity for resilient digital infrastructure remains paramount. It’s essential that developers and landlords start thinking now about how they can ensure that both their existing properties and future developments will meet the technological needs of their tenants.
Investing in the right places
There are a number of products and solutions that can improve the connectivity of a building. Landlords and developers need to be smart about what they invest in, to ensure that it will truly meet the needs of their tenants.
At WiredScore, we recommend focusing on tenants’ connectivity wish list: speed of install, price and resilience.
Speed of install
As technology plays an increasingly important and more diverse role in business processes, it’s important that new tenants can get connected right away. The horror stories of entire companies working off 3G dongles for months on end just won’t cut it.
Introducing a standardised wayleave document can speed up the process of getting connected, with the City of London’s Standardised Wayleave Toolkit demonstrating a prime example of how collaboration between broadband providers, landlords and developers can better serve tenants.
It’s also important to accurately represent the building’s capacity. Selling the dream of fibre when it’s not available throughout the building just infuriates tenants, as they must take on the time-consuming and costly task of building new risers to bring it up to their floor. When high-quality internet is crucial to their business, this process could be very damaging.
Many new technologies require high-quality connectivity, driving up broadband costs for many businesses. Developers and landlords can help bring down these costs by enabling tenants to shop around different providers. Offering multiple ISPs and having space available for new providers to come in will help your tenants to get the best speeds for their budget.
The nightmare for any digital organisation is when the internet goes down. The costs can be staggering, with recent research from Ontrack reporting that when a website is down for just one hour it can generate financial losses of up to €6.5 million for an online bank, €2.6 million for a credit card payment system, €110,000 for a mail order company, and €90,000 for a ticket booking office.
Landlords and developers should ensure there are dual points of entry, diverse vertical risers and secure telecommunications rooms to ensure that tenants stay connected. A building with only one point of entry is a disaster waiting happen, should one fibre source into the building be cut.
While certainly not desirable, a business can continue to operate without water or air conditioning if need be. But without internet, operations stop. And as dependence on technology in the office increases, such instances will only prove more damaging to tenants.
Tenants will invest in their businesses’ future, will you?
Businesses are increasingly tech savvy. They understand how technology is going to revolutionise the way we work, the way their customers consume, and its potential to drive new revenue streams. When shopping for new office space, a decreasing number will be willing to sign up to five or ten year tenancy agreements without the assurance that the building will meet their organisation’s tech needs, now and in the future.
Landlords and developers need to start thinking now about what technologies businesses want to be deploying in the future and ensure that their buildings are ready to meet their demands. Forward thinking landlords will benefit from their efforts to stay ahead of the tech curve and invest in what matters most to tenants.
Because if they’re already thinking about it, why aren’t you?