Creative Quarter Spending
We've recently taken the plunge to move onto Office 365, Microsoft's new cloud-based suite of productivity. The old server has been put out to seed, and with it one more reason to base ourselves in a single office has vanished.
All the major software houses are pushing the same model: away from licensing software which is installed locally on high performance computers to a subscription based model where the software and its performance is undertaken elsewhere in remote data centres. And it feels like this change is reaching a tipping point to become the new normal.
This shift is shining a light on the quality and affordability of data connectivity in our urban business districts as it becomes as essential to operating as light, heat and space.
Our experience in Nottingham City Centre is that data connectivity does not measure up. There are issues around availability, reliability and delivery but the principal issue relates to affordability.
At present, a business based in the Lace Market, in the eye of the new Creative Quarter, has to choose between using variants of ADSL, unreliable but cheap 'Broadband' more suitable for domestic purposes, or it has taken the plunge with enterprise connections such as 'fibre to the building' or 'Ethernet final mile'. The latter options are not always available and take a long time to install and the installation costs are a bit of lottery.
Crucially, the running costs will set you back at least £7 grand a year. And this presents a major impediment to smaller, early stage companies that are most attracted to working in the Lace Market area.
The city centre is well endowed with a number of serviced and managed office centres, within which the high cost of enterprise class data connectivity can be shared and defrayed between a large number of small firms. However, there comes a time when growing firms want to leave the confines of a business centre and take space for themselves. For them, the data costs can be as big a cost as the rent. Surely this is major impediment for firms looking to 'grow on'
The ‘Creative Quarter’ plan addresses one of the major impediments for local business growth: access to financial capital. But, if we are serious about firms in the creative and digital economy located in the city centre and growing, then as a city we need to set about providing a first class data infrastructure as a matter of urgency.
05 August 2013
Bildurn (Properties) Ltd.
4 Carlton Street
+44 (0)115 9413 366
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