BTB Australia


Unmet Needs and Emerging Trends in Business Internet

22 May 2024 nbn®

In an era where connectivity is the lifeblood of businesses, understanding the nuances of internet usage among small to medium businesses is as valuable as holding a crystal ball in your hand – and who wouldn’t want one of those in their business arsenal? 

The landscape of business internet is evolving rapidly, driven by technological advancements, changing work dynamics, and shifting consumer behaviours. To see a fuller picture of the state of business internet in Australia today, nbn® commissioned a study conducted by Ergo Strategy to shed light on business internet use and trends.

Since 2018, Ergo Strategy has undertaken annual research on business internet decision-makers to decipher their usage patterns and evolving perceptions towards the internet. The most recent instalment, a White Paper released in February 2024, offers a comprehensive snapshot of the business internet landscape, with insights gleaned from a sample of 2,000 Australian business internet decision-makers, predominantly connected to nbn®. 

For current ISPs or businesses looking to add telecommunications as a product offering, the Business Internet White Paper can be leveraged to drive further adoption of business fibre for small to medium businesses and offers deeper insights into business key drivers and market trends. 

Understanding the Dynamics: Business vs. Residential Internet

All the internet is not created equal. In opening, the White Paper looks at the stark contrast between business and residential internet usage. While some similarities exist, residential consumers gravitate towards streaming and gaming, businesses are increasingly using the internet for cloud applications, collaboration, and data-intensive operations. Put simply, residential users are focused on downloading activities, while business users are engaging in uploading activities. Businesses, therefore, often demand higher speeds, robust upload capacity, and unwavering connectivity compared to residential users.

Cohorts of Internet Needs

Within the business sphere, a spectrum of internet needs emerges, ranging from basic to advanced, drawn from factors such as size and business complexity. Advanced businesses include those with 50+ employees, revenue in the millions, with specific business premises; these businesses tend to have less price sensitivity, prioritising reliability, technical specifications, and faster speeds. At the other end of the scale, businesses with basic internet needs are usually very small businesses of 1-2 employees and are run from home/small premises, are more inclined towards affordability and convenience, often at the expense of comprehensive features.

Impact of the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic changed how most businesses operate, both basic and advanced. Over the last four years, businesses have transitioned to using fully remote or hybrid work setups. This shift has made cloud apps, tools for working together online, and ways to access work from anywhere much more important. It has highlighted the need for powerful and reliable internet connections, but also put the focus on data security and data backup now that so much of ‘work’ is now digital. 

Unmet Needs and Emerging Trends

Even though internet connections have improved, many businesses still need to upgrade in the coming years. This is especially true for companies that need more internet power as they grow. This shows a need for tailored solutions, not just one-size-fits-most offers. Also, new ways of using the internet, like automating offices, using AI, and virtual reality, give us a hint about how internet use will continue to evolve in the future.

Key Drivers for Small to Medium Businesses

For small to medium businesses, having fast, dependable internet is non-negotiable. The White Paper emphasises how crucial it is to keep data safe and have strong backup plans, which is important for all businesses – in any shape or size. While the pandemic pushed more businesses to use cloud services, this shows how adaptable businesses became during tough, uncertain times, with the need to respond quickly by having fit-for-purpose technology in place or easily accessible.

Charting the Course Ahead

As businesses deal with all the different internet choices in today’s market, it’s important for telecommunications product providers to regularly check and upgrade plans to build a loyal, satisfied customer base. With the telco landscape evolving at breakneck speed, aligning internet plans with evolving business needs and trends puts you ahead of the game. This means being proactive and making changes when necessary, so resellers don’t get stuck with outdated technology and underserviced customers.

Conclusion: Embracing Change

The Business Internet White Paper is a highly useful guide, helping telco resellers navigate the ever-changing landscape of digital transformation. By shedding light on internet trends and uncovering hidden business needs, it gives businesses the tools to move towards better products and services – hitting exactly what customers want today – super reliable, high-speed internet that is safe and secure. In a time of fast change and constant innovation, being able to adapt and predict what internet features business customers need – and meeting them – is key to staying successful. 

Posted by

Kirsten Craven


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