UK business confidence highest when ‘digital transformation’ takes centre stage


A report published today by Vodafone shows the link between digital transformation and business confidence in the UK.

79% of business leaders say digital transformation is a strategic priority and are keen to exploit its full potential.

Organisations that prioritise digital transformation are also more confident about future growth. Of those business who see digital as a low-priority, only 17% are very confident about their future growth; for those who see digital transformation as a high-priority, this figure almost triples to 50%.

The Digital, Ready? report surveyed business leaders across the UK, from sole traders through to large enterprises and the public sector. It found that a fifth have already successfully implemented digital transformation projects; and more than half believe they are making good progress. 69% recognise that their organisation will not survive if they fail to embrace digital transformation.

The report highlights that organisations are prioritising digital transformation to increase efficiency, improve customer experience and increase productivity. These goals come ahead of objectives such as shortening the time to market, developing new products and services and reaching new customers.

Anne Sheehan, Enterprise Director, Vodafone UK commented: “It’s an exciting time for organisations 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. Almost a quarter of business leaders have been able to reach new customers or user segments; 30% have seen better customer experience; 28% have increased customer satisfaction; and 22% report higher staff motivation.

More than half of organisations say that they are planning to spend more than £100k on digital transformation in the next two years. In companies with 5,000+ employees, some 56% expect their investment to exceed £1m. Organisations are exploring a range of technologies in which to invest: real-time data analytics tops the table for three quarters of businesses, followed by Unified Communications, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data.

Sheehan continues, “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 businesses cite the cost of new technology as their biggest challenge, followed by dealing with legacy IT systems while new systems are introduced and lack of budget.

Vodafone is helping companies of all sizes on their digital transformation journeys. For example, it has worked with South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) on an app to improve efficiency and response times for its 1,200 Community First Responders; with Life’s Kitchen to process orders efficiently with Superfast Broadband; and with Admiral Insurance as its digital telematics partner.