Diversity is critical and automation is a touchstone for network success now
Workforce diversity is rightly an important consideration for any forward-looking business. But often it is a mixture of good intentions and box-ticking. At Capacity Europe, the big event for the global carrier community in London, which I attended for enet, diversity was seen in a slightly different light.
A session entitled ‘Advancing Women in Telco’ heard how the absence of diversity weakens an organisation’s ability to adapt to the broad range of challenges it faces each day. Lack of diversity means a business is not using all the talents available to it as it serves a world that is more complex and multi-faceted. Having said that, I am completely convinced that women cannot advance in isolation. Mutual support between men and women is essential.
It was an excellent point and the speakers emphasised that recruitment policies need to be adapted accordingly so that the traditional white male bias in recruitment is not perpetuated. The result of recruiting people who resemble yourself is that everybody has the same mindset, which is not how an organisation opens itself up to new approaches.
I’m pleased to say that at enet we have already made a big effort to recruit women, with over 20% female staff, doing our own bit to institute real and lasting change in what has traditionally been a predominantly male industry.
In terms of the other industry trends on the agenda, Capacity was noteworthy for the interest in hardware-as-a-service, (HaaS) which is increasing, even though the major movement throughout business is still obviously towards cloud utilisation. The sessions I attended heard that HaaS is captivating some companies because they feel the cloud has limitations and are concerned about security vulnerabilities. This is a trend where industry-wide suitability remains to be seen, but it is an area we should all keep our eyes on, nonetheless.
More immediately pressing was the topic of portal automation. It was often said at Capacity that businesses using fibre networks do not want to wait for a quotation – they want to go on a portal and obtain a price estimate within seconds. This is something enet is addressing specifically for Fibre-to-the-home or cabinet (FTTX). As fibre networks spread around Europe, portal automation is undoubtedly going to be a common feature. A portal integrated with all partners removes many of the barriers to FTTX, which is going to be so important as many enterprise-level organisations increasingly want to rely on the infrastructure for resilient backup that is distinct from their primary connectivity. This is a strategy that has been pursued in many countries and will be taken up in Ireland, with more options available including local backup.
enet will certainly be addressing these demands and concerns as it develops its services, because it is what Ireland needs. There is definitely going to be a big market for low-cost resilience, which makes it all the better if all carriers have access to available services and pricing through a single portal.
We are already open for business and our fibre networks are spreading right across Ireland, as such FTTX connectivity is seen as essential to modern life and the conduct of business as electricity was in the last century. Our aims at enet certainly chime with the concerns, needs and expectations that were consistently aired at Capacity.