Recently I was wonderfully placed to visit Cuba. This seems to be the ‘go to’ country on many Australian bucket lists. Though a few of my American friends were a bit sceptical about why I would want to go there.
My motivation was simple. I was on the other side of the planet already, attending the Scaling New Heights conference in the Bahamas. Why wouldn’t I go that little bit further and see Cuba – before it loses all of its current uniqueness?
As a practical traveller, I invested in a copy of the Lonely Planet ‘Cuba’ edition. Now those who know me, know I have only somewhat recently joined the Facebook brigade. The inspiration of that folly was to connect with my friends from various countries as they were sick of not being able to tag me in photos! A nice offshoot of joining has been the ability to interact with various professional groups. I think it is fair to say that I am a Facebook convert. I like social media. I like its instantaneousness. I like its connectivity. But without internet there is no world connection. So what does Lonely Planet have to say about internet in Cuba?
Wi-fi is slowly catching on…..Warning: connections are often slow and temperamental.
Oh dear – prepare for radio silence. For someone who relies on internet connectivity to run their business, marketing and to socialise, is it possible to disconnect?
I am happy to say – yes, it is somewhat easy to disconnect. Though when I finally did reconnect on Day 5 it was to be greeted by several messages from worried family and friends who wondered if I was still alive. I had never been offline for so long before.
A great story of relaxation, but what does it actually mean?
In Australia we are fortunate to have affordable, high quality access to internet with internet penetration of 85%. We enjoy freedom of content and unrestricted access to social media sites.
On the other hand, Cubans pay typically CUC4.50 per hour (about the equivalent of USD5.00) for limited bandwidth. A high cost in a country where state salaries average $20 a month. Internet penetration is only 5-30%, and that is predominantly in the main cities. Access points are government regulated, sites are blocked and content monitored.
How do they survive? More importantly, how do they run their businesses?
Simply, Cubans don’t operate businesses the way we expect to.
Many Australians take internet connectivity for granted. As at December 2014, 12% of the adult population was exclusively mobile. They do not have a fixed-line telephone or fixed internet connection. This is up from 10% in 2013. No doubt this percentage has increased even more in the last 18 months or so.
We live in a world where 93% of small businesses use some form of mobile technology and of those, 90% report that mobile solutions save time and increase revenue.
Mobile technology allows business owners the ability to accomplish things they otherwise couldn’t do or had never before dreamed of. A simple summary of some of the benefits –
- Freedom to work from where ever, whenever on whatever
- Affordable technology
- Reduced overheads
- Time saving
- Increased collaboration
- Document control
Bottom line –
We DON’T live in Cuba.
We DO have access to internet and mobile technology.
We KNOW that mobile technology saves businesses time and money.
What excuse is there to not consider mobile technology for your business?
Contact us at Direct Management and we will show you the way to a simpler, more efficient business future.