THE BLOG

If The Digital Sector Leads The Way, The Rest Of The Economy Will Follow

27/07/2017 17:28 BST | Updated 27/07/2017 17:28 BST

As both businesses and the global economy feel the full thrust of digitisation, innovations are certainly paying off.

Be it automation, logistics, software, retail or healthcare - digital disruption has spread across industries, delivering more personalised and tailored experiences to customers and employees.

The replacement of traditional methods of working has recently characterised the future of the workplace. With the introduction of both new collaboration technologies and the automation of specific processes, these innovations have led to organisations making bigger savings and greater improvements in their operational efficiencies. Overall, this has freed up more time for strategic decision-making from the top-down, with better business outcomes as the product.

According to Gartner, forty-seven percent of CEOs are being challenged by their board of directors to make progress in digital business, and 56 percent have said that their digital improvements have already directly led to increased profits.

Closer to home, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported last year that the UK was the fastest growing economy in the G7. It is no coincidence then that the UK was recently recognised as one of the best digital economies worldwide, ploughing ahead of the USA and the rest of Western Europe to now be considered a member of a small number of "digital elite", according to a new global study of 60 countries.

Studies like these not only highlight the integral role that the digital sector plays in the wider economy, but also that digital transformation and business' financial success seemingly go hand-in-hand. Organisations and economies failing to prioritise digital transformation efforts are not only hindering their scaling efforts, but are also quite possibly having a detrimental impact on their own growth.

Both the concept and the process of digital transformation, however, do not only depend on the widespread implementation of new technology, but also the ushering in of a new era in organisational culture. Netflix embodies the success of digital business transformation in its purest form. It set about creating an agile mind-set that would allow it to evolve in tandem with the needs of its target audience in Silicon Valley. By putting people and culture at the heart of its digital transformation, this allowed it to innovate quickly and with purpose, disrupting competitors and tapping into fresh market segments.

Today's businesses must address evolving scenarios; respond to dynamic business demands; and, most importantly, find innovative ways to quickly cater to these changing customer needs. Business leaders and IT teams across sectors and businesses must focus on working hand-in-hand to keep pace with these new developments, and drive ongoing innovation to march towards continuous improvement.

Digital transformation, ultimately, must accelerate business activities at a reduced cost, improve delivery time to the market, and instil a set of positive changes in processes and people. The business community must synchronise with innovations in technology, consumer behaviour, market demand, and environmental factors too if they are not only to survive, but also to thrive.

The digital sector is undoubtedly stoking up the perfect storm. Its impact is being felt not only on the operational side of business, but also on organisational structures, shaping the internal fabric of businesses across all levels.

We must now look to both business and IT leaders to ensure that digital transformation, coupled with the appropriate innovations, translate into productive contributions to the global economy of tomorrow.