No business functions at its highest potential in isolation and formal and informal network development is important for corporate growth and functioning. While these networks may exist within a company and its suppliers it may also exist among competitive companies. Because a large part of cluster growth is based on the exchange of ideas and the necessary components such as finance to achieve growth there must be a conduit of exchange to increase idea sharing.
Business within a cluster are connected by people, information, resources and finance. The more connections we can develop and the closer the proximity, typically the more advantage companies receive as they share important components of doing business. They become a supportive network that continues to develop and build off of each other.
The Internet and IT networks have become a big part of this model. As people, businesses, and administrators move online there is a substantial increase in GDP of the area. That equates to greater wealth and tax revenue for governments. Investment in infrastructure relates to communications and impacts the entire network of businesses.
As investment in communications infrastructure rises there are also more opportunities to receive outside investment into local businesses and increased chances of expanding into global markets. Investment improves the overall capital needed to move companies out of their domestic markets and into a more competitive world. As the information about the cluster improves, investors awareness also improves and this can lead higher investments that create an upward cycle.
It should similarly be stated that as people move online and share information they also share their ideas. Increased information becomes breeding grounds for collaborative improvement of products and open sourcing options. Ideas spread quickly and companies can research and compile this information for general improvement of their business.
Developing of networks for private and public collaboration can increase the speed of cluster development as ideas spread quickly and are adapted into existing operations. Governments and business leaders should support the sharing of knowledge and information for profit gain to spur local economic development. They can invest in closed, open and infrastructure improvements that have a systemic impact on the overall speed of information and the connectivity of people.