South West business confidence high as 'Digital Transformation' takes centre stage - Business Leader News

South West business confidence high as ‘Digital Transformation’ takes centre stage

A report from Vodafone reveals that the majority of South West business leaders feel confident in their ability to grow their business (82%), however 61% recognise that their organisation will not survive if they fail to embrace digital transformation.

The Digital, Ready?  report surveyed 2,000 business leaders across the UK, from sole traders through to large enterprises and the public sector. Of these, 132 businesses were based in the South West. The research showed 15% of them have already successfully implemented digital transformation projects; and nearly half (47%) believe they are making good progress.

The report highlights that the South West organisations are prioritising digital transformation to increase efficiency (51%), improve customer experience (42%) and increase productivity (32%). These goals come ahead of objectives such as shortening the time to market (21%), developing new products and services (19%) and reaching new customers (25%).

Athena Ainsworth, Head of Regional Business, Vodafone UK commented: “It’s an exciting time for organisations in the South West as they set out on their digital transformation journey. The smallest digital steps can have a real impact on the growth and success of an organisation. Implementing the right new technology is helping businesses become smarter, more creative and more efficient.”

The Digital, Ready? report also suggests that those businesses that have embraced digital transformation already are starting to reap the rewards.  Nearly a fifth (18%) of South West business leaders have been able to reach new customers or user segments; 32% have seen better customer experience; 27% have increased customer satisfaction; and 15% report higher staff motivation.

Almost half (46%) of the South West organisations surveyed say that they are planning to spend more than £100k on digital transformation in the next two years. Organisations are exploring a range of technologies in which to invest including real-time data analytics, Unified Communications, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data.

Athena continued: “We can help businesses to identify which new technologies will deliver the most benefit, from IoT and Unified Communications to Cloud services.  We’re three years in to our own five-year transformation to put digital at the heart of our business. So we really understand the journey our customers are on and can share our experiences as we help them thrive in this digital age.”

Businesses report that they face challenges too. The majority of South West businesses cited the cost of new technology as their biggest challenge (16%); followed by lack of budget (12%) and dealing with legacy IT systems while new systems are introduced (10%).