Digital is a major way in which all businesses can protect themselves and mitigate against the worse consequences of the economic challenges we’ll face over the coming years. The Brexit reality means a number of things for the business world – volatility in the financial markets which will go on for some time, fluctuations in currencies will be similar, uncertainty around future Government priorities for investment, and the potential loss of involvement in the EU Digital Single Market.
Scenarios and predictions for the next few years (and beyond) vary considerably, and until our Government settles down and provides leadership and a clear plan of action it’s probably too soon to predict with any accuracy on some of the issues. But, working on your business to enhance, innovate and grow through digital technologies is a no-brainer!
The good news here is that UK sits in 6th position based on research of the EU nations in the past year. This report clearly references the need to continue the push for all areas to achieve the right levels of connectivity to support good digital business.
“Additional efforts are required to bridge the gap in the availability of superfast broadband between urban and rural areas”. It also clearly references the skills challenges facing our business, and which will potential increase post-Brexit - “Demand for skilled ICT professionals within the economy is rising rapidly, while the supply is not keeping pace”.
There is already clear recognition of the major issues which UK Government must put at the top of its list of priorities and part of plans to invest in future business use of digital – connectivity and skills. The report notes include a review of the issues “a true digital economy is one where businesses take full advantage of the possibilities and benefits offered by digital technologies, to improve their efficiency and productivity, as well as to reach customers and realize sales. Businesses in the United Kingdom are not fully taking advantage of these possibilities. The adoption of digital technologies is an important driver of labour productivity growth and needs to be strengthened”. A full copy of the UK profile can be found here.
Here at Cosmic we’ve been working hard in 2016 to get the message across to all business leaders that now is the time to bring digital fully into strategic plans for the years ahead, and to build new skills and understanding of digital at senior, decision-making levels in all organisations. Digital leadership is even more vital now that the UK works toward its Brexit deal and the business environment which will follow. Digital holds major potential for businesses and organisations seeking to develop in this new and challenging marketplace:
- Digital innovations will provide new services and products as well as internal improvements and customer experiences
- Digital Productivity will result in major savings, costs, efficiencies and better customer service
Another major opportunity lies in the ways in which digital can help businesses prepare themselves effectively and efficiently for international trade, partnerships and export. There has never been a better time for business leaders to review the potential to trade with international partners (EU and beyond) and therefore to provide new markets, supply chains and partnerships.
Digital opportunities for collaboration on research, market appraisal, learning and trends analysis also provide ideal ways in which business leader can embrace the potential on offer and provide businesses with a substantial competitive advantage if used effectively. Stronger links with international associates can be achieved affordably and flexibly – using virtual communications like video-conferencing, to build relationships and understanding of culture and market issues.
And so in the months ahead, we truly need positive, enthusiastic and digital leaders to develop new and exciting plans and opportunities for the Brexit years. The best-of-British in our attitudes and approaches - pioneers, innovators, entrepreneurs and ambassadors for UK Digital business step forward!