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One in ten businesses will require 50 percent more bandwidth by 2010, finds Geo

As the world economy begins to stabilise, research conducted on behalf of fibre network provider, Geo, has discovered that 2010 will see explosive demand for network capacity among businesses. This surge in demand emerged as one in ten of the IT decision makers questioned by Geo revealed that they expected their bandwidth requirements to rise by more than 50 percent by the end of 2010.

Geo surveyed IT and network professionals in some of the UK’s largest financial services companies, retailers and local authorities on their top spending priorities for 2010. The survey found that three quarters (77 percent) of respondents said that they were committed to increasing bandwidth next year. The research also shows that technology investment will drive this need for network upgrades, as 13 percent of businesses plan to make greater use of cloud computing or virtualisation, and a further 13 percent will increase their storage requirements.

The research paints a picture of a world where bandwidth has become a business critical matter, and fibre optic speed communications an integral part of enabling everything from algorithmic share trading to processing online shopping orders. It is further underlined by analyst Point Topic’s recent findings that there are now more than 443 million broadband subscribers worldwide, with this number likely to grow by ten percent in 2010.

Geo discovered that demand among enterprises for increased network capacity will grow strongly in 2010, with more than half (54 percent) of IT decision makers questioned preparing to grow bandwidth by between 20 and 50 percent. A further ten percent expected their requirements to rise by more than 50 percent in the next twelve months.

Mark Ryder, Director of Enterprise for Geo, said: “The level of investment that businesses will be committing to bandwidth alone in 2010 points to two important findings. Firstly that things are finally looking up economically; and secondly that, if one in ten businesses will require 50 percent more bandwidth by December next year, they need to think carefully about how they’re going to find it.”

“The fact is that in order to access the high speed, low-latency and easily scalable communications that high-bandwidth consuming organisations need, more may need to consider ‘going private’ when it comes to their network infrastructure. When a business’s bandwidth requirement doubles every two years, it’s vastly more affordable for it to own and manage its own network rather than depend on a patchwork of managed services.”

The increasing difficulty that businesses find in squeezing sufficient bandwidth over the UK’s progressively more contended public internet infrastructure is further underlined by Geo’s research. 38 percent of respondents identified general increases in data traffic as being the principal cause of their networks slowing down. Mark continued: “The fact that the sheer quantity of data running over networks belonging to the UK’s biggest banks, insurers and retailers is growing markedly and causing them to slow down makes a powerful case for greater use of dedicated infrastructure.”

Mark concluded: “This research bears out our own experience that bandwidth is the one thing companies can’t afford not to invest in. Our economy now depends on the internet, but large organisations are increasingly asking themselves if it’s possible to share the finite resources of the public internet with half a billion broadband users without impacting their own operations. Hence we are seeing a surge in interest for dedicated networks that will furnish these organisations with the bandwidth they need now and in the future.”