Over the past ten to fifteen years, the ability to expand into new markets has been made easier with the rise of Internet technology. It’s technology that’s become cheaper, more efficient and easier to deploy, with a growing amount of convenient features.
There was a time when companies needed to purchase tons of expensive equipment to set up new offices overseas. Today that task can be done, in large part, by connecting some cables and plugging into the local electricity grid.
That’s just one reason why global expansion is attractive to American companies. And one of the most fertile markets for them to enter is the Asian Pacific region, which includes China, the Philippines, India and Indonesia. U.S firms like the cheap costs and business-friendly governments, who understand the economic benefits of opening the doors of commerce to foreign enterprises.
Of course, the opportunity doesn’t mean that these companies can fly in and set up shop the next day. There are logistical, regulatory, licensing, real estate, and bureaucratic challenges. And once you overcome those hurdles, you also need to deal with technical issues around communications and the IT infrastructure. Here are some tips:
Choose the right vendors
In Asia, technology has yet to reach the level of uniformity and sophistication found in the U.S and Europe, so it’s important to know what type of infrastructure you may have to deal with. That’s why you need to choose vendors and service providers who know how to get things done where your new operations are located.
Create a mobile work policy
If you think the work-at-home craze is big in the states, see what’s happening in Asian countries. The physical landscapes, combined with the mobile lifestyle, has made remote employment not only a good option, in some cases it might be mandatory to attract talent. People want to work how they live, and vice versa.
Connect to the cloud
Cloud technology allows people to work together and share information across multiple locations. It provides the ultimate in flexibility and accommodates today’s mobile-centric work habits. For expansion purposes, the cloud allows you to start doing business relatively fast, without having to invest in a lot of new equipment that can be obsolete next year.
There’s nothing like secure VPN
Cloud, telephony, video and other essential IP services can be supported by VPN. This is key to main consistency and reliability when expanding. Secure VPN is a must.
Optimize your Internet connection
As beneficial as the cloud can be for sharing and retrieving data and apps, it can cause delays because of the distance between the user and the actual server. By using an optimized connection, you streamline the user path and make work a lot easier (and more productive) for your employees.
Ultimately, the success of your expansion to Asia will be dictated by the profit margin. Don’t let technology get in your way. The sooner you get your IT infrastructure up and running, the sooner you can focus on doing business in Asia.