What Is The Digital Divide And Why Does It Affect Businesses?

Over the past five years, one of the biggest discussions in a lot of businesses is the question of the digital divide, particularly for companies that needed to very quickly adapt to changing working conditions in 2020 and 2021.

On a very basic level, the digital divide is the gulf between people who have easy access to modern telecommunications technology and those who do not, with a lot of different avenues and effects.

Strictly limiting the scope of discussion to how it affects businesses, the digital divide is the gap in success between businesses that have a robust telecommunications solution and those that do not.

Robust telecommunications include business phone systems, smartphone access, cloud access to tools for remote working and high-speed internet, amongst other critical tools, the knowledge to utilise them effectively and access to effective support and upgrades.

Typically the digital divide for business manifests in three important ways:

  • Access – Does every member of staff have access to high-quality telecommunications systems wherever and whenever they need them?
  • Use – Are these systems easy to use? Can all members of staff easily connect to the cloud using an enterprise smartphone or be provided the training necessary to do so easily?
  • Quality Of Use – Do the systems help to push forward the goals and vision of the business, and how?

These are quite broad sectors, but this only serves to highlight just how broad the effects are when it comes to digital investment, and how widely businesses on one side of the digital divide are set to gain.

A business with a strong cloud-based work platform can utilise hybrid offices and more flexible working arrangements without any issues, which in turn allows them to recruit higher quality candidates from a wider pool, due not only to no geographical limitations but also due to many skilled workers showing a preference for hybrid work.

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