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Will poor broadband hinder SMBs moving to the cloud?

The right broadband plan will enable Australian businesses to advance operations and support their cloud plans, according to a new study.

The research released by NBN Co and Australian technology analyst firm Telsyte focuses on small and medium businesses (SMB) on the nbn access network.

According to the Telsyte Digital Workplace Study 2020, many SMBs are looking to utilise cloud solutions in order to save time and expand operations, however they are lacking the right broadband to take full advantage of this.

The survey highlights that 64% of SMBs are now using cloud applications such as virtualised servers, storage, databases, networking and software as a service, but more than half (54%) don’t think their current broadband plan is adequate to support both their current and future cloud needs.

Cloud technologies, traditionally the domain of large enterprises, are being used by many SMBs, with 64% now using cloud applications.

In fact, more data shows that SMBs are gearing up to take advantage of cloud technologies, and yet they lack the broadband required to adequately utilise such solutions.

More than half (54%) of SMBs do not think their current broadband is adequate to support both their current and future cloud technologies. Furthermore, 87% of SMBs say quick recovery time following a system outage is either very important or important to their business.

Internal NBN Co data shows that many businesses on the nbn access network don’t have a business-grade broadband plan designed to support their technology requirements into the future, with many SMB end customers currently subscribed to a plan designed for home use.

NBN Co states business-grade broadband plans provide features such as high speeds even when internet traffic is heavy, symmetrical speeds so that businesses can upload as fast as they download, and enhanced service support on the nbn network to help resolve issues faster.

The study indicates that businesses on the nbn broadband access network find broadband availability, and improved connectivity for branches are two key benefits.

In addition, Australian SMBs on the nbn access network see the biggest benefit of the nbn network is that it allows them to be more competitive.

More than half (51%) of SMBs said access to the nbn network saved their business time and almost a third (28%) said it helped their business grow.

NBN Co chief customer officer for business Paul Tyler says, “With more than one million businesses already on the nbn network, broadband and cloud technologies are changing the game.

"Cloud storage and collaboration tools are helping businesses save time and stay competitive but research shows that businesses could be held back by not having the right broadband plan for their future needs.

“As businesses continue to embrace the cloud and plan for the future, it’s essential that they also review their broadband needs and talk to a retail provider about the wholesale business nbn options available to providers like priority data over the nbn access network and enhanced service support for when things go wrong.”

Telsyte managing director and principal analyst Foad Fadaghi says, “It’s clear that access to business grade services over the nbn access network underpins the future cloud opportunity for small businesses.

"Business nbn offers providers the wholesale option of symmetrical speeds, but also offers the option of business grade support which becomes critical as more core applications are moved into the cloud.”

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