Huawei's 2016 Global Connectivity Index (GCI)3 surveyed 3,000 enterprises from 10 different industries across 10 countries. It found that in today's digital economy, connectivity technologies, particularly broadband, have a bigger impact on their business than any other category of technology. Connectivity enables enterprises to escape the constraints of geography, collect more information, respond to customers more quickly, improve their productivity and efficiency, and make themselves more competitive.
Headforwards is a small software developer located in St. Agnes, a coastal village in Cornwall, on England's southwest coast. Cornwall is remote and thinly populated, and its broadband infrastructure was underdeveloped, meaning that local companies found it hard to connect to international markets. In 2015, the "Superfast Cornwall" project brought high speed fiber broadband networks to 80% of the area, including over 24,000 local enterprises. Thanks to the superfast 330 Mbit/s broadband, Headforwards was able to reach out to business opportunities around the world, including NTT, Japan's largest telecom company, which signed a contract with Headforwards to develop some core business software. This business partnership was only possible because of the high-speed connection between the two companies. The partnership has been highly successful because both companies are digitally connected. The contract has also led to further opportunities, enabling Headforwards to engage and win new clients and work with leading software talent around the world.
Harley-Davidson, a legendary American motorcycle maker, enjoyed outstanding sales in the 1980s and 1990s but ran into difficulties in the early 2000s. The market was changing, and its competitors introduced a range of new models. In order to adapt and reboot its competitiveness, between 2009 and 2012, Harley-Davidson introduced industrial Internet technologies to connect tens of thousands of manufacturing machines. This has enabled the machines to 'collaborate' with each other. It was a radical departure from Harley-Davidson's traditional manufacturing model, which had many disadvantages, including limited capacity and long lead times. Today, any production line in Harley-Davidson is able to produce many different motorbikes. A motorcycle comprised of some 1,200 parts can be assembled in 89 seconds, and the time from receiving an online order to delivery has been shortened from 21 days to just six hours. Connectivity has enabled Harley-Davidson to transform its business, with a far more flexible manufacturing infrastructure. This has helped the company to once again stand out from its competitors in the marketplace.