The future is digital – UK businesses continue on the path to digital transformation

Research shows that UK companies are rushing to embrace digital solutions as a way to tackle the short- and long-term effects of the pandemic.

The efforts for digital transformation are expected to continue in the following years, even after the pandemic is over. 

The past few years have been quite difficult for businesses worldwide, and UK enterprises make no exception. The Covid-19 pandemic forced business big and small to rethink their strategies and find new methods to stay afloat during these unprecedented times. It appears that one of the most effective ways business leaders have found to counteract the challenges they’ve been facing lately is the adoption of digital solutions. 

It’s true that many UK companies had started their digital journey long before the pandemic hit, but the spread of the virus has definitely sped up digital transformation efforts. What many business owners expected to take years is now happening at an accelerated pace, as the timeframe for digital transformation has been reduced to months. 

Let’s take a look at the numbers

A report from Twilio conducted earlier this year comes to back up these affirmations. The report clearly shows that UK businesses increased their focus on digital transformation since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The study, which is based on a global survey of over 2.500 enterprise decision-makers and data collected on the Twilio platform, reveals that 82% of UK businesses view digital engagement as critical for their future. What’s more, 43% of UK business owners believe they are at risk of suffering financial loss if they fail to digitize customer engagement. 

When it comes to the influence that the pandemic has had on their decision-making process, 89% of UK business leaders admitted that Covid-19 sped up their transition to the cloud. 93% of them also mentioned that they plan to maintain and continue digitizing their channels even after the end of the pandemic. So, we can safely say that the UK business scene is going through a digital revolution at the moment and the phenomenon will continue well into the future.

Another independent study, commissioned by the London-based digital agency Studio Graphene, strengthens these finds. The survey that was carried out on 750 UK business leaders addressed the effects of the pandemic on the digital transformation of businesses and its results are quite revealing. Here’s what the study found:

  • 56% of UK businesses have already embraced one or more digital solutions since March 2020
  • 54% of companies admit that the pandemic served as an inspiration for long-term digital transformation, and they want to continue their digitization projects after the pandemic subsides
  • 45% of businesses intend to expand their tech teams in the near future
  • 53% are planning to increase investments in digital training programs
  • 30% of business owners express concerns over going back to previous business practices
  • Only 27% of businesses are thinking about reducing IT expenses as safety measures begin to relax

All these figures paint the picture of a future where each business, regardless of its size, will have at least one digital element in its structure. 

Why digital transformation is essential nowadays

Since digital solutions have become so widespread in the business environment lately, it’s important to understand why digital transformation is crucial to business success, both in pandemic times and beyond. So, let’s take a look at how tech innovations can help businesses step into the future. 

Better customer experience

In a day and age when competition in the business environment is fiercer than ever, customers are becoming increasingly harder to please. Since the expectations are getting higher, many businesses are struggling to keep their clients happy. Embracing effective digital solutions can help businesses deliver the level of service that customers expect these days and ensure a better customer experience.

Higher levels of productivity

Increasing employee productivity has always been a hot topic in the business environment, but the pandemic has definitely been a game-changer. Since many companies had to adopt a remote work model overnight, new productivity-related concerns started to emerge. That’s where digital transformation can make a notable business.

Making use of digital applications such as project management planners, a system for online timesheets, or communication and collaboration tools can help businesses increase employee engagement and thus ensure higher productivity levels. 

Enhanced safety

As many of the tasks that were once performed manually or implied in-person interactions have now transitioned into the digital realm, the issue of security and data protection became a major focus for businesses and organizations. It’s therefore extremely important for companies to develop and implement robust digital security systems within their structure in order to keep potential cyber threats at bay and guarantee the safety of their data.

Stronger business partnerships

Although these are difficult times for all of us, customers still expect businesses to operate at the highest standards, and that requires companies to improve collaboration with their partners in order to provide quality products and services. Managing business partnerships can be a cumbersome process if companies rely on traditional methods and strategies. That’s where tech advances and innovations come into play to streamline these operations and build stronger relationships between business partners.

Improved decision-making process 

Businesses these days have to collect and process large amounts of information in order to run their daily activities and come up with efficient business strategies. Analysing all these data takes a great deal of effort, but digital solutions can significantly reduce the workload and ensure a smoother decision-making process for business leaders.  

Final thoughts

As it can be seen, digitization has become a prerequisite for success in the business world. That was true before the pandemic disrupted the work and business ecosystem and is more relevant than ever now that we’re going through an unprecedented global crisis. And while digital transformation might not hold all the answers to the challenges that businesses face today, it can surely pave the way for better business opportunities.

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