High speed / high tech - HS2 business benefits now - Business Works
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High speed / high tech - HS2 business benefits now

Billy Haining of Intrinsic Technology So HS2 will go ahead and the business benefits being touted are numerous. Whilst the project is expected to cost £32 billion, the government claims £47 billion of benefits to the economy will be delivered over 60 years and that business efficiency will be greatly improved.

But are they missing a trick?

The first trains wonít be running until 2026 and many businesses are already using very different types of technology to achieve the same benefits. Weíre predicting an increased pickup of these technologies over the coming years, as savvy organisations realise that there are creative ways of slashing the time and money spent on travel.

Strategy

The first step for any business looking to do this is a thorough review of the existing processes and protocols regarding face-to-face meetings. Which ones are truly business critical? Which could be merged with others, or replaced with slicker digital communications and tighter status reporting?

Itís easy for meetings to dominate corporate diaries and taking the time to strategise and streamline them can free up swathes of useful time. However, cutting down on meetings often demands more collaborative, cooperative working between them, and many businesses are seeking high-tech answers.

Collaboration

Collaboration technologies and unified communications are having a huge impact. A definition of unified comms a few years ago would have been restricted to telephones and instant messaging Ė now it encompasses multiple communication channels and is part of a huge drive to reduce costs and become more collaborative.

As organisations are able to converge social media, mobile working and multimedia with more traditional communication channels, day-to-day working becomes more inclusive and more communicative Ė many face-to-face meetings can seem unnecessary.

Of course, some meetings will always be essential. A technological answer to the problems of travel gaining traction in the corporate world is high-definition video.

Video

Video conferencing isnít a new technology, but itís only in recent years that itís become a really viable alternative to face-to-face meetings and businesses are catching on. No longer just a tool for involving US-based directors in UK meetings, itís now used to arrange quickfire discussions between multiple offices. Meetings that might have required people to travel for hours, stay in hotels and take two days or more out of their normal working routine, can now happen in an afternoon.

Proactivity

The business benefits the HS2 rail link is aiming for are great. Greater collaboration and communication within and between organisation across the country will doubtless mean more efficient, innovative and joined-up ways of working.

But is always worth examining the benefits that less high-profile, but perhaps more agile, technologies are bringing to the business world. Truly savvy organisations will not just wait for the advantages of HS2 Ė they will look for ways of gaining those advantages now.



Billy Haining is head of the Cisco Business Unit at converged solutions specialist, Intrinsic Technology: www.intrinsictechnology.co.uk



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