You might think that as we become increasingly reliant upon technology in our everyday lives, any business would be keen to embrace the technological future in order to communicate better with its customers and improve profitability.
However, research last year from the CBI and IBM (http://www.cbi.org.uk/news/digital-divide-among-uk-business-is-holding-back-the-economy/) reveals that there’s a growing digital divide emerging in the UK economy with a little over half of all companies embracing the digital economy while the rest fall behind.
This is surprising as the UK is one of the world’s leaders in e-commerce and its associated technology, yet it seems that some companies are struggling to bring their business models into the digital age and could be losing out on opportunities as a result.
Barriers to technology adoption
So what are the factors that are holding back businesses from exploiting the latest digital technologies? There are four principal areas that come up time and again in addressing the challenges of digital business.
- Connectivity worries
- Security fears
- Lack of in-house skills
- Uncertainty of getting a return
Of course, these don’t exist in isolation. All four need to be tackled when putting together a digital strategy, whatever the size of company involved and in whichever industry sector it may be operating. That can be a daunting prospect, especially for smaller organisations that may not have a dedicated in-house IT team.
To address these issues, many companies are now turning to a technology partner to help them achieve their digital goals. W3Partnership and our Smarter Integration Platform can help assist businesses in delivering agile, secure solutions that will be easy to implement and which will ensure an on-going return on investment.
By establishing a core technical framework, services can be enabled far more rapidly and without the need for recruiting expensive and scarce technical skills. Using a series of pre-configured transport adaptors and other modules, it becomes far easier to launch projects and see them through to production in a shorter time frame.
It’s also important to have a champion for the digital project within the organisation. Appointing a technology officer to oversee the project not only gives it a ‘face’ but demonstrates that the organisation is serious about its intent. It’s vital that the individual concerned is sufficiently senior to get things done and that they have the appropriate support at executive level to overcome any pockets of resistance.
The digital advantage
By integrating business systems and applications, companies can create a much smoother running operation. But more than that, correctly integrated digital systems can offer a springboard for change and business growth. Ultimately this should engender greater productivity in addition to enhancing the organisation’s ability to respond flexibly to change as it embraces new opportunities.
Simply ignoring the opportunities offered by digital can result in the business falling behind its competitors, ultimately losing customers to those organisations that have taken the steps needed to exploit the opportunities offered by digital technology.