How digital infrastructure delivers competitive advantage

by FM Media
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Connectivity will help us build a better normal now and in a post COVID-19 world. Sheridan Ware explores the potential.

After working from home over the past few months, most Australians would agree that there’s nothing more important than a fast, reliable internet connection – especially when your work day relies on it.

As we’ve adapted to remote work, there’s no doubt digital transformation has been fast-tracked and technology has played an important role in keeping us productive and connected despite our lack of physical proximity. But an important challenge remains: how do we continue to leverage digital tools through reliable workplace connectivity?

If we return to physical offices over the coming months, buildings with high-quality digital infrastructure, electrical resilience, wireless capability and ease and reliability of connectivity will have a distinct advantage in terms of maintaining and boosting workplace efficiency.

Connectivity as a differentiator

Before the COVID-19 lockdown, research conducted by YouGov Galaxy revealed 98 percent of Australian office workers see good digital connectivity as a core driver of productivity in the workplace. In contrast, as many as 83 percent of Australian office workers have experienced failed or unreliable digital connectivity at work.

In fact, around 800,000 workers have considered moving companies in order to use the latest technology and to help them grow both personally and professionally.

As employees set their sights on returning to the office, the future of the workplace and the way it enables seamless connectivity will be front of mind. Buildings without the appropriate technological infrastructure may risk providing a poor experience to their tenants and building communities. But those who keep up with recent technological advances and adoption may recover ahead of the curve.

A new benchmark for technology backbones

Originating in New York, the WiredScore certification has become Australia’s first official benchmark for workplace connectivity. Its aim is to empower all workplace users to understand, improve and promote their building’s digital infrastructure.

So far, Charter Hall’s 69 Ann Street in the heart of Brisbane (pictured) is one of only two buildings in Brisbane to be accredited with a WiredScore certification – in this case, Gold. After acquisition in the 1970s, the building underwent two refurbishments under Charter Hall’s management – one in 2007, with further works in 2018 – in order to provide better technology and connectivity to tenant customers and the wider building community.

Some of the ways we’ve done this at 69 Ann Street are through multiple high-speed internet providers for both tenants and guests, telecommunication equipment and maintenance accessibility and multiple entry points for incoming service providers. A flexible digital infrastructure also allows businesses to integrate new technologies quickly and seamlessly. These are the kinds of connectivity advancements that will help commercial spaces evolve and recover in the coming period.

Now is the time for improvement

Now more than ever, companies are embracing the opportunity to digitally accelerate their operations and accommodate for both current staff and future generations of a cloud-based, mobile workforce.

Landlords are taking advantage of the shift in the way we work to upgrade building assets, digital tools and virtual communication. To cultivate a better workplace environment, end users are front of mind, with high-performance technology, a safe working environment and the necessary equipment to excel in their roles.

Despite this year’s constant disruptions, upgrading our infrastructure, telecommunication capabilities and connectivity will allow us to adapt better to the ever-changing landscape. There is a great opportunity to use this time to better equip employees and solidify connectivity as a differentiator for organisations wanting to emerge ahead of the curve and into a better post-COVID future.

Sheridan Ware is Charter Hall’s chief information and technology officer.

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