Let us ask you a question.
Where is the Internet?
It’s trickier than it sounds, right? Connectivity has become so critical to our lives, many people don’t even think of it as a thing. It’s like air. It just exists.
But if you’re running a business, the Internet – along with the phones, computers and security cameras that depend on it – is very much a thing. It has to be sourced. Installed. And paid for. And if it goes down for any length of time, your workers will grind to a halt pretty darn fast.
(Maybe there are bagels in the break room?)
An estimated 47 million people quit their jobs in the Great Resignation of 2022. And yet somehow 50% of organizations are predicting layoffs in 2023. In an economy that flat-out strange, how are business owners and IT leaders planning for the future?
Five ways cabling helps businesses plan for change.
1. Establishing the right horizon
Nothing helps focus your thinking like a deadline. Fortunately, nearly every facility has one. If you only have a year left on a lease, it’s probably safe to just run some cables to your new cubicles and forget it. If you’ll be in the same space for three years, that’ll impact your choice of Cat6 or better cables. And if you’ve built a whole new complex that’ll be your home for as long as you’re in business, you can use your cabling plan to envision workflows and drive collaboration.
2. Dreaming about the way you want to work
Cubicles, reception desks, cash registers… They all used to be necessities. But today, many retail businesses take mobile payments. And knowledge workers often prefer flexible offices, with more huddle rooms and fewer desks. But all these advances are contingent on having the technology and power to support them. So if you’re looking to optimize space and efficiency, a cabling plan can help you outline the boundaries of what’s possible.
3. Installing the right cables
The choice of cabling is often driven by workflow. For instance, companies that regularly handle large video files still require fiber to their desktops. In other instances, regulations and standards make the decision for you. For example, HIPAA may require some medical companies to use Cat6a cabling instead of wireless routers. Getting the right cables in now will help you plan for growth. (Or just stay in business!)
4. Wire for wireless
Yes, many businesses are installing TV screens in all huddle rooms to enable video conferencing. But even so, one of the biggest trends in cabling is actually less cable. It used to be, every desk needed ethernet ports for phones and computers. Now the desk itself may need none at all, as people choose to rely on laptops and cell phones. So modern MDFs need a structured cabling system that can handle all that data!
5. Cabling means labeling
Imagine you update your structured cabling. And after the installer leaves, you walk up to the MDF and see a lot of blinking lights and new cables, but no indication of what they all mean. A good cabling partner understands technology and human beings, too. So they’ll help develop an intuitive labeling system that clearly displays what each element does.
Cables should set you free, not tie you up in knots.
A good cabling system gives you room to grow, flex, and do business confidently in just about any environment short of a Walking Dead-style meltdown. Even better, it’s a chance for you to reimagine how you run your company and empower your employees.
So even if they can’t define where exactly the Internet is, they know it makes their jobs better.