In the face of the WLR switch off and skyrocketing data demands, how can you prepare your business for the future of work?
The connectivity landscape is changing fast. Demands for higher bandwidths and increased capacity are rising at breakneck speed, and as employees get increasingly comfortable working wherever and however they like, businesses are having to adapt to keep up.
Undeniably, there are challenges ahead as economic pressures make it harder than ever to know where to invest in your business.
And the 2025 switch off of Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) services is taking away some of the choice from businesses, forcing them to upgrade their infrastructure or risk being disconnected.
But amidst these challenges is a real opportunity for businesses to achieve more and deliver better results for their customers.
Over the next few months, we’ll share advice and insight from our industry experts to help you make the most of these opportunities.
That starts with exploring the most immediate connectivity challenges, and how tailored solutions and the right support can ensure you’re best positioned for success.
You’ll need to act now to be ready for the future. So what are you waiting for?
See upcoming challenges as an opportunity
The impact of technology on business growth is clear. From our research report, ‘Medium businesses: Fuelling the UK’s economic engine’, we found that the majority (65%) of medium businesses say tech is their top driver of growth.
Yet IT implementation isn’t without its challenges. In fact, 33% of medium businesses say tech is one of their biggest obstacles. The planned WLR switch-off in 2025 is a perfect example of this.
Businesses still operating on copper networks will need to upgrade to fibre connectivity before their legacy systems are disconnected, prompting them to start looking for upgrades whether they like it or not.
Shrewd businesses, however, are taking this opportunity to review their connectivity demands and ensure their next upgrade isn’t just a like-for-like fibre replacement, but one that will be capable of scaling and flexing with their evolving needs.
For example, innovations in tools such as Unified Communications (UC) – integrated platforms such as Microsoft Teams where employees can share files and communicate with each other – are making more collaborative and streamlined work possible.
But as UC providers begin to augment their offerings, the data demands of these tools will only grow. More complex capabilities such as virtual environments and cloud-based communication tools will see increased strain on your connectivity infrastructure.
Medium businesses are already recognising the positive impact of implementing new technology such as this, with our research finding that 39% believe that collaborative tools that support colleagues would improve the quality of work they deliver for clients.
The key is recognising where your infrastructure will need to scale with you. Because whilst you may need 1GB today, you will likely need 4GB tomorrow.
Prioritising this scalability and flexibility will be key to ensuring your investment gives you the most return for the future of your business.
So make sure you know where your business is heading, and prioritise the infrastructure you need to help you get there. That’s how you can turn a moment of challenge into a real opportunity for growth.
Ensure your solutions are tailored to you
With employees working in new ways and from new places, it can be hard to know what technology your business needs to keep up.
Holistic solutions such as UC systems enable employees to connect and collaborate in a multitude of ways from any device, wherever they work.
This allows for the smooth transfer of information in and beyond the office, enabling more productive work such as remote brainstorms and real-time data sharing with workers in the field.
But of course, this data sharing will need robust security, with tools such as endpoint security management software becoming essential to monitor for potential threats.
And investing in a new suite of endpoint devices to allow your employees to collaborate and share data in the hybrid world is only worthwhile if you have a robust network in place to support the increased bandwidth demands.
After all, it can be hard to know what solutions you need if you can’t identify the issues you face – take stock of your business needs, and work with your supplier to ensure you’re getting the most value out of your connectivity investments.
Start asking the important questions
Guidance will be the key to securing success in your digital transformation. The right partner is one that can understand your individual business needs and tailor their solutions, making your investment more efficient and effective.
So start questioning if your partnerships are working for you as best they can.
Have your suppliers considered your unique goals and what you need to transform? Are they prepared to collaborate more closely and give you the advice you need to navigate new changes? Do they understand how to support you amid growing cybersecurity risks?
Questions like this will help you challenge your expectations of what your connectivity can do. Because the right technology should transform your business, not be an obstacle to your growth.
Looking ahead can sometimes feel daunting. That’s why we believe you shouldn’t go it alone.
Medium businesses know better than anyone that these IT challenges are also opportunities for growth. In fact, from our research, we found that 27% of them say growing in revenue is the top scenario where they need most support from their IT team.
So seeking advice from your partners to improve your digital capabilities isn’t just about getting more from your investments, it’s about continuing to deliver reliable results to customers whilst supporting your bottom line.
As we all navigate another tumultuous year, it’ll take proactivity to seek out advice to help you make the best choices for your long-term growth. But action now will secure your future success.
Find out how medium businesses like yours have overcome their digital challenges and prepared for the future of work in our latest report here.