There is one thing that typifies business life these days – and indeed our personal lives – it is the need to be connected 24/7, wherever and whenever you are. In a few years, total connectivity has achieved the status of a ‘need’ rather than a ‘want’.
Keeping ahead in today’s fast-paced environment relies on constant global connectivity. While we can manage a delay when updating our status on Facebook, confidence in a connectivity provider comes under the spotlight during business critical engagements. This is when even a split second of downtime can have huge repercussions.
The Middle East has suffered from many connectivity outages, and each time this happens, there is a consistent and profound impact on the region’s economy.
Yet, despite the business critical nature of connectivity, we rarely think about how this connectivity is best achieved. Too many companies are dependent on piecemeal solutions delivered by a range of suppliers, with each link of the chain potentially at risk. Companies need to look for a combination of resilience, consistency, reliability and flexibility in their communications solutions.
Until recently, it simply was not possible to ensure that your data travelled seamlessly around the region and the world. But, less than a year ago, through close collaboration with the leading Middle East operators, we launched the TGN cable system that is designed to provide diverse eastward and westward paths to ensure that businesses in the Middle East are able to stay connected and continue operations regardless of any unforeseen downtime.
In 2008, three key submarine cables were damaged in the Mediterranean, jeopardising connectivity in the Middle East, India, and South East Asia. The disruption was potentially cataclysmic, but by leveraging our global diverse submarine cable and IP network and our focus on tested disaster recovery plans, we were able to restore full connectivity to all customers within 24 hours. This shows the importance of a global network: when disaster strikes, you are able to ensure that connectivity is impacted as little as possible and businesses are not disrupted.
The need for connectivity is such that it has become a paramount business issue so any company needs to ask itself how downtime would impact on its operations and its bottom line. In this fast-paced environment, a day without connectivity is a day lost.
As our reliance on connectivity grows, so too does our need for innovative ways to manage the flow of information. A network needs to be sustained by a continuous programme of upgrades and enhancements that not only ensure that it remains at the cutting edge, but that also cope with businesses’ increased usage demands as the explosion of data traffic continues.
Continued investment in both innovation and the people who manage and support the infrastructure is critical to guarantee that communications are available around the world and around the clock. This investment will be critical in supporting the growth of businesses in the Middle East and the continued economic development of the region.