Bandwidth is a limiting factor in businesses becoming disruptors, Colt CEO Carl Grivner has said – arguing that the most bandwidth-hungry firms are often at the forefront of digital transformation.

In an exclusive interview, Grivner told us, “Enterprises of all shapes and sizes are increasingly looking for services that enable them to provision flexible, scalable, easy-to-access super-high bandwidth and global connectivity; yet the current market seems unable to deliver it.”

Because of expansion – whether that comes through mergers, acquisitions, cloud adoption or integration – network capacity that can scale with a business is key to enabling firms to focus on adding value, rather than logistics.

Startups that have scaled to international sizes, like Uber, have done so because they haven’t been limited by concern for legacy infrastructure, Grivner said:

“Bandwidth-hungry enterprises…are enabled by the cloud and are often disruptors in their sector, but interestingly their size or geography often has very little to do with it. International giants like Airbnb and Uber are completely dependent on the cloud, but then so are small firms at the leading edge of the technology sector.

“In order to be a disruptor in any sector today, you have to be able to focus on adding value, and you can’t do that if you’re focusing on your network infrastructure.”

Of course, it’s not just concerns about cables that holds established firms back from being disruptors: startups, by their very nature, “create brand new business models from scratch without worrying about disrupting their own business, taking the fight straight to the competition.”

Grivner ended on a note of optimism for companies that are already settled in their own industry: “Digital transformation…gives incumbents the opportunity to compete with these born in the cloud upstarts, but only when such a strategy is well executed. Imagine if Blockbuster had adopted online streaming to compete with Netflix, which now has more subscribers than cable TV – maybe the story would be different.”

Grivner’s assertion tallies with research done by Computing earlier this year, when 44 per cent of survey respondents cited legacy infrastructure as the biggest barrier to digital transformation.