The digital economy - what it means for your business

By the end of this year we’ll almost certainly see more mobile phone subscriptions than people on the planet1. We can expect more connectivity too – increasingly between machines, not just people. This added capability is helping industries to totally transform – including manufacturing, logistics, managed utilities, smart cities and e-health solutions all seeing increased efficiencies and saving money.

It’s called digitisation, and even the European Union is backing it by promoting the digital economy and simplifying data protection rules – estimated to save businesses €2.3 billion a year2.

It provides a huge opportunity for businesses across all sectors. While many are taking tentative steps forward by introducing apps, swapping letters for emails and text messages and providing online account management, there are a host of other benefits still available by embracing digitisation in its entirety.

From the outside in

Businesses that’ll benefit the most will be those that transform from the outside in. This means taking a look at the forces influencing us in our daily lives. People want instant access to information. So we go to the web, or click on an app. We want to communicate and transact wherever we are, using our mobiles for as much as possible. And smart metering, smart homes and smart cities are all trying to keep up with smart offices.

With a significant proportion of internet data traffic coming from mobile devices3, businesses that haven’t done so already should start to get their websites mobile-ready now. A strong website and presence on social media platforms will help reach a wider audience, attract new customers and enhance client loyalty.

And with two out of three emails opened on a mobile device4, there is opportunity to create emails that are more engaging and personalised for people who are out and about. Video, for example, is also now easier to produce and consume – providing a stronger impact whether for customer communications or messages for remote staff in the business.

Benefit on the inside, too

Then there’s the opportunity from internal transformation. The UK has one of the highest penetrations of smartphones at 58% of the population, while almost one in five of us have a tablet5. Businesses that embrace BYOD can take advantage of this advance in consumer technology and benefit from the latest technology without the big investment. They just need to provide the policy and network. And it paves the way for easier flexible working, enabling employees to provide a better service for customers. It helps reduce the cost of office overheads, too.

The future

I want to see all sectors go digital. There’s too much to lose by letting these opportunities simply pass by. What’s holding you back?

Find out how we can help bring your business into the digital age. Call Matt Worth on 01235 433507.

Or visit our website on www.o2.co.uk/enterprise

1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19925506

2 http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-13-39_en.htm and https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/blog/promoting-europes-digital-economy

3 http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57530726-93/as-mobile-rises-desktop-search-declines-for-the-first-time/

4 http://marketingland.com/report-mobile-driving-36-percent-of-all-email-opens-21049

5 Ofcom: http://media.ofcom.org.uk/2012/12/13/uk-a-nation-of-hi-tech-tv-lovers-3/