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Digital benefits for a truly connected business

Posted on: 09/08/2019

The importance of investing in a digital strategy should not be underestimated. If implemented correctly, it can boost workforce productivity, drive business performance and increase job satisfaction. The UK is well known as a global technology leader but not all businesses across Britain are digitally advanced. Innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and automation are making a big impact on Britain’s digital capabilities, but many businesses are unable to grasp the basics of digital tools.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) there is a productivity gap of 15% - 19% between the UK and the other six members of the G7 group of nations. Could investment in digital strategy bridge this gap? 

The Digital Business Report, a recent independent survey commissioned by Advanced, explored the state of digital transformation for over 500 British businesses. We’ve summarised the findings of this report, highlighting barriers that businesses face when implementing a successful digital strategy and how to overcome them.

Making the Cloud work

Adopting Cloud-based software is becoming the preferred choice for businesses when it comes to positive digital disruption. The report states that 49% of the businesses surveyed have a Cloud strategy in place already, and participants stated flexibility, improved security and efficiencies as benefits of using the Cloud. A small number of respondents stated that business innovation, mobility and user experience didn’t meet their expectations, showing that there are barriers preventing businesses from taking full advantage. When implementing the Cloud, businesses have to customise and scale to their individual needs and consider the user experience impact on their staff, implementing a strategy that supports new working practices.

Taking leadership

Tools like the Cloud can help boost productivity and performance, but the expectations of these tools can only be met if the workforce understands the benefits. The Digital Business Report found that 30% of organisations don’t think their leadership team is moving fast enough to keep up with employees’ changing technology requirements. Leaders will need to support staff who are resisting change and those who lack the confidence to embrace new technology. Statistics show that 35% of organisation’s leadership teams are not communicating with the rest of the workforce early enough when choosing new technology. Interestingly, one in ten surveyed stated that Generation Z (employees under 25 years’ old) are influential in their organisation’s decision to adopt new technologies. As digital natives, they are well placed to encourage and support those who are resistant to change or lack the confidence to try new tools.

Prioritising security and compliance

Only 53% of businesses surveyed have a security strategy in place, and just 24% say their organisation is prioritising security when it comes to technology investment. Security concerns can hold businesses back from achieving a successful digital strategy, so it’s essential to make cybersecurity and data protection a priority, whatever size the business.

Does size matter?

It’s expected that large organisations are far ahead of SMEs when it comes to digital transformation, due to their bigger budgets and resources. Although, larger organisations are more complex, they can be faced with managing legacy systems and large volumes of data. The report found that SMEs are more agile and better prepared to take advantage of technologies with little disruption. Almost half (47%) of small businesses surveyed said that the different needs of their departments can be met by a single solution that supports the whole company from finance and sales to manufacturing and shipping.

Developing a digital strategy can deliver considerable benefits for a truly connected business.

At Exemplas we’re experts in providing SMEs with the tools and advice they need in order to excel and grow as a business. Advisers are at the heart of what we do and their knowledge becomes an SME’s advantage within the market. Like any good mentor, we follow our clients’ progress and supply the right knowledge, precisely when it’s needed – at every stage of their journey. We deliver a number of key public sector contracts across the UK, including Enterprise Europe Network in the East of England and the Hertfordshire Growth Hub, both of which help businesses develop their digital skills and innovate, helping to boost productivity, strengthen the local economy and drive business performance.

Click here to find out more about the work we do with SMEs.

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