Colt is Europe’s leading information delivery platform, enabling its customers to deliver, share, process and store their vital business information. An established leader in delivering integrated computing and network services to major organisations, midsized businesses and wholesale customers, Colt operates a 21-country, 33,000km network that includes metropolitan area networks in 38 major European cities with direct fibre connections into 17,000 buildings and 19 Colt data centres.
In delivering wholesale telecoms services and SME business packages, clearly we’ve got a vested interest in infrastructure at Colt. Hence, we were fascinated by a report published last month by The British Infrastructure Commission to address the UK’s infrastructure issues. The report is a great insight into how investment in infrastructure will result in a 0.7% lift in GDP over time and makes many sensible recommendation about skills, financing, procurement and planning to ‘make infrastructure happen.’
The intriguing part from a Colt perspective is the definition of what is covered in infrastructure by the report:
[infrastructure] includes roads, railways and airports; electricity networks and generating plants; oil and gas pipelines and storage terminals; and telecommunications networks.
It is also interesting to see that the report has been picked up by some of the small business press as well. The key point is that telecommunications has equal billing with heavyweight infrastructure and utilities in the wider social and economic landscape and is as relevant for small businesses as it is for large enterprise.
In developing products such as Smart Office we see small business acknowledging the importance of flexible IT to help them build and scale. But, it also makes sense that growing companies see technology as an important part of their commercial infrastructure. We should not forget that 99% of businesses in the UK are SMEs and that they employ 50% of the workforce. Small companies are a big deal
Some of the report’s comments on infrastructure are particularly resonant with the issues we hear from our customers today when selecting IT products and services. Skills, finance and environmental concerns are as relevant for building Crossrail as they are for email. It appears that, whilst we concern ourselves with IT convergence, infrastructure is converging at a much higher level.
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