How Much Internet Bandwidth Does My Company Need?
This question does not necessarily have an easy answer. It requires you to take a look at the several key factors that impact your speed and bandwidth requirements and assess your current usage levels for each.
According to the Nielsen Norman Group, who conducted an extensive series of studies, the bandwidth requirements of users grows by roughly 50% with each passing year. Simply, if a user required 100 megabytes of bandwidth today, they would need about 150 megabytes to perform the same essential functions next year. The 50mb rule rings true across the board: from home users to students to the world of business.
Thanks to advancements in modern technology, collaboration is easier than ever. You can now e-mail that project to a team member to get feedback, upload a document to cloud storage for safekeeping or download the latest revisions from the company FTP server before client approval. All of this comes with a cost, however, in the form of bandwidth.
Every time a file is uploaded or downloaded, your bandwidth requirements go up as a result.
Data Center Transfers
Customer relationship management services have become the norm in a broad range of different industries. Likewise, many companies are turning to innovative cloud solutions like Microsoft Office 365 for collaboration and cloud-hosted services for backup and archival purposes and more. Every time you interact with the cloud; however, information is being uploaded and downloaded. Your bandwidth requirements are only increasing as these services become more and more prominent.
High Definition Streaming
By far, one of the most bandwidth-intensive activities that most businesses engage in involves the streaming of high definition video and audio content. Uncompressed, HD video has an average file size of 10 megabytes per second. By the time you finish watching a one-minute video from a prospective client, you have used up nearly 600 megabytes of bandwidth.
Your bandwidth requirements for video conferencing, VoIP telephone services, webinars, and more are all very similar in nature to HD video and audio streaming. They all require an enormous amount of bandwidth to deliver the quality that your business can depend on and that your clients expect.
Software developers routinely release updates to their programs to address issues that users are experiencing, patch security holes, and more. Downloading these updates is one of the keys to ensuring that your business remains safe from backdoor threats, malware, and more. It also means that your bandwidth needs are increasing every time a software update becomes available. Operating systems like Windows and OS X are adopting auto-updates, which run in the background. Several computers doing this at once, on sizeable updates, could put quite a strain on bandwidth.
Viruses, malware, and other types of malicious programs are among the most common uses of bandwidth in a business environment. These programs transfer an enormous amount of data in the background, often without the user, even realizing it. If your company network is hit with a virus, your bandwidth use isn’t necessarily your highest priority. However, the “software as a service” antivirus solution you’re using to get that virus off of your network will also use a great deal of bandwidth to accomplish that goal.
As mobile devices have become such a prominent fixture in our work and personal lives, “bring your own device,” scenarios are more common in today’s modern business environment. Every smartphone, tablet, or another type of device connected to your work Wi-Fi, however, represents a new “user” with its own unique set of bandwidth requirements. As smartphones get faster and become capable of more and more things, you can expect this category to grow in prominence sooner rather than later.
The Needs of Today Meet the Needs of Tomorrow
The key takeaway from all of this is simple: the answer to the question “how much bandwidth do I need for my business?” The answer is – this will change with each passing year. As a result, you always need to be thinking about both your short-term needs and your long-term goals. With the internet needs changing so frequently, it’s crucial that you think about the short term and long term when signing a contract. You could end up with an outdated agreement with speeds that are inferior by the end of your contract.
Before you invest in any Internet solution, you need to talk to a trusted advisor who knows business fiber Internet connectivity. They’ll be able to give you an accurate calculation of how much bandwidth you need today and, more importantly, how much you’re going to need tomorrow. They base this on your current usage trends and industry statistics and your unique business goals.
This advisor will also help you accomplish the most important thing of all: develop a solid plan for growth in the future. This plan will ensure the business you’re running is more successful and capable of preparing for growth. Call our business development department at 248-941-9162 to learn more.