Investing in digital is critical to SMEs
Investing in digital is absolutely critical for small and medium sized businesses who want to grow, but we’re seeing different businesses respond in different ways to the digital revolution.
So on the one side you’ve got your digital pioneers who are at the forefront, investing in new things like artificial intelligence and have got all their CRM systems up and running, and are very much taking advantage, but then you’ve also got digital followers who are not really sure how to make the most of the opportunities presented by digital.
So we’ve got a situation in the UK where actually the availability of technology is pretty good. We’re fifth in the world according to the World Economic Forum in terms of availability of things like superfast broadband, but we’re 14th in the world in terms of company level adoption. So we need to get better at demonstrating return on investment in some of these technologies and equipping business leaders with the expertise which will enable them to take advantage of that. A lot of that is about skills. It’s getting the right people at senior positions in the company. Some companies have done things like recruited a Chief Digital Officer to sit on the Board, which makes sure that the whole strategy that they’re working towards has a digital lens put over it so that opportunities to invest in those technologies are not missed.
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