Small businesses must keep abreast of the latest digital developments to avoid being left behind, as Virgin Media Business explains
MODERN firms have never been more reliant on digital technology. But even the most tech-savvy firms can risk being left behind on the road to digitalisation.
The digital workspace is changing all the time, and it has never been more important to stay up to speed with the latest developments. Office life is changing. A recent study by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and recruitment company Indeed found that 38 per cent of businesses were seeking to introduce more flexible working practices, including flexible hours, remote working and job sharing. Furthermore, a 2017 report from conferencing firm OWL Labs found that 52 per cent of employees now work remotely at least once a week, while 65 per cent of those who do not work remotely would like to do so at least once a month.
Increasingly, employees expect flexibility from their employers, which brings with it a host of challenges regarding mobility, connectivity and access to networks. Furthermore, in client-facing businesses, there is a growing expectation of instant response times – particularly when every complaint and delay can be broadcast to a global social media audience at the touch of a button.
In 2018, digitisation no longer means upgrading your tablet or changing your service provider. It is a crucial tool for everyday life, and done well, it can aid and improve every single element of your business, from securing your company’s data on protected servers, to maximising your storage space.
For instance, many otherwise-savvy business owners still use the same anti-virus software that was preloaded to their computer network. Yet cybercrime is on the rise. Earlier this year, the UK government warned businesses of all sizes to improve their cyber security, after it was revealed that more than four in 10 (43 per cent) businesses had experienced a cyber security breach or attack between April 2017 and April 2018. According to the latest Ponemon Institute Cost of Cyber Crime report, the average cost of a data breach globally is $3.86m (£2.94m) – a 6.4 per cent increase year-on-year.
No business can afford to pay the price of an easily-avoidable data breach, just as no business can afford to lose good employees due to a lack of remote working options. This is why it has never been more important for businesses of every size to commit to full and ongoing digitisation.
By taking just a few extra steps to digitalise your business, you can improve the user experience for both internal and external customers, and protect the resources that make your company so unique.
What does digitisation mean to you?
For some people, digital technology is a necessary cost. For others, it is an enabler of business efficiency. And for a few, it is a driver of competitive advantage or differentiation.
Truthfully, digitisation can mean different things to different people – it can range from a better phone system or internet connection, to the latest advances in data collection and customer engagement.
And your specific digitisation needs will be informed by the shape and size of your business, and your plans for the future.
Whether you’re a one-person operation with big dreams for the future, or a thriving SME with an office packed full of shiny new technology, it is all too easy to become blasé about where you are on your digital journey.
Don’t get left behind!
Find out where you are on your digital journey by taking our quick and easy test, which will inform you where you are on your journey and how you can ensure you’re staying ahead of the latest digitisation trends.