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Connectivity funding ‘key to successful business growth’

Many UK businesses are in danger of suffering stunted growth due to a lack of investment in core IT connectivity systems. A new report has found that four in every five UK firms are unable to scale plans to their fullest potential with current connectivity arrangements. Just 20% of UK businesses state they are in a position to undertake digital transformation plans.

This comes as 84% of enterprise organisations state their digital transformation plans have accelerated due to Covid-19. For almost half (49%) of the firms surveyed, these plans have been accelerated by a year or more. Almost every firm (98%) said they consider digital transformation to be important to their future strategy, underlining just how integral digital plans are to the growth of UK business.

The report found that 81% of companies saw a ‘highly successful’ digital transformation success rate when up to 20% or more of the digital transformation budget was devoted to connectivity or networking. For companies allocating 10% or less of their budget to connectivity or networking, the success rate dropped to 19% and the number of unsuccessful initiatives rose to 62%. This illustrates the fundamental role that connectivity plays in digital development.

Conducted by business connectivity provider Neos Networks, the report gathered results from 247 medium-to-large UK organisations, and data, cloud and network infrastructure service providers. The findings highlight challenges businesses face in ‘building back better’, what’s needed to ensure UK business has future-ready systems and just how many companies need connectivity investment to grow.

Full report available here: https://neosnetworks.com/resources/ebooks/core-connectivity-the-key-enabler-of-digital-transformation/

The factors that influence digital transformation success

The report highlighted 14 ‘keys to success’ surrounding digital transformation. The following factors are those most common to highly successful firms:

  • 90% of highly successful firms — recognition of significant benefits conferred by SD-WAN (which include proactive management, better performance information and control of applications)

  • 74% — IT department is always involved in specifying and implementing connectivity solutions used in digital transformation

  • 72% — connectivity and networking budget is 10% or more of the overall digital transformation budget

  • 72% — have a ‘very supportive’ telecoms partner

  • 63% — seeing securing remote internet connections as very important

Industries that embraced these digital transformation indicators are more likely to enjoy ‘highly successful’ digital transformation outcomes. Energy & utility firms are best positioned, holding seven ‘keys to success’, on average. They are closely followed by the transport sector, which has just under seven keys.

The industry with the lowest score was the government & public sector, with just over five indicators met.

However, the reality is that organisations from all sectors have work to do, with none demonstrating more than half of the 14 ‘keys to success’ identified.

Pete Asman, Managing Director for Public Sector and Enterprise at Neos Networks, said: “It’s clear that UK business needs greater investment, particularly after all the commercial challenges and changes the pandemic brought. This report only serves to highlight how integral connectivity and smart technology is to firms hoping to enact digital transformation – and the success of digital initiatives.

“The pandemic has acted as a catalyst in some ways, moving digital ever closer to the heart of businesses. It’s only natural that some industries have more catching up to do than others. What’s important now, however, is that we see investment in connectivity, especially if we want to see real economic growth in the post-pandemic landscape.”

Lyall Creswell, founder & CEO of Transport Exchange Group, said: “There’s no doubt that Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation initiatives. In our industry, this has been driven primarily by changes to consumer behaviour and the huge increase in online purchases and more deliveries. Consumers have warmed to the idea of using ecommerce for everything from grocery shopping to financial transactions, and this has had a massive impact on the logistics industry.

“One of the biggest issues in our sector is a skills shortage – most courier and haulage businesses don’t have dedicated IT resource to map out a proper digital transformation strategy and implement the right tech. Sometimes, there’s also a reluctance to fully support digitalisation. But there’s been a sharp contrast around the acceptance of digital workflow pre and during the pandemic.

Pete Hanlon, CTO at Moneypenny, said: “It’s easy to be consumed by the day to day work and put off large projects like digital transformation until next year. It’s also easy to think that it’s just a technology project rather than business change. Without the right level of focus and buy-in from across all areas of the business, digital transformation will never happen.

Companies that are more agile and take a digital first approach have been best placed to ride out the challenges over the past two years. I believe we will see an unprecedented level of investment in digital transformation over the next few years as more and more companies adopt a similar digital first approach. This investment can only be a good thing for the post-pandemic recovery.”

Five advantages of handing over your IT procurement needs to specialists

By Alex Wilkinson (pictured), Chief Operating Officer, Solutionize Global

Every day, modern-day leaders are being challenged to operate within tighter parameters when it comes to productivity, cost and efficiency. These three elements are vital when considering the current strain on the economy following the global crisis – and helping organisations to survive.

What this has led to is a greater requirement for technology to become more sophisticated. In turn, practitioners are being tasked to adapt swiftly – so that they can provide attractive, streamlined services and an unrivalled competitive edge.

This is especially the case within the procurement and finance arenas. These industries are continuously shifting their focus in how they can strategically enhance efficiency via advanced digital methods. And for those that get it right, they’re typically in a much stronger position to ensure business continuity – even during the most turbulent of climates.

Today, there’s even more reason to stay ahead of the curve, especially as a 2016 Chief Nation and SAP Ariba report revealed how 77% of industry managers anticipated that new procurement technologies would be one of their sector’s biggest trends of recent times.

For modern-day leaders, adapting to economic flux comes with the territory, but that doesn’t mean they have to do everything themselves. So, how can successful C-suite chiefs handle the current pressures they face, and still meet greater supplier demands for IT products and services when time and resources are constantly against them? 

Now might be the time to hand over the reins to tech procurement specialists. Selecting an expert who understands the industry and ever-evolving marketplace can encourage a more flexible and agile approach, amongst other advantages. Here are five reasons why organisations should consider the options…

  1. Ensuring optimum speed when sourcing goods and services

There will be few firms that have not been negatively impacted by the current climate – resulting in their supply chain being hit the hardest. Leaders are often left to ‘pick up the slack’ as they attempt to continue ‘business as normal’. But the clock isn’t slowing down, and time is of the essence.

Bringing in a savvy tech procurement specialist should provide managers with both the opportunity to focus on their company continuity priorities, and also feel secure that services will still be efficiently sourced and quality goods delivered on time – regardless of the climate. 

Speed is of paramount importance in today’s saturated marketplace and having someone knowledgeable on hand to quickly select the best vendors to meet the brief, negotiate the right price, and organise swift distribution can help to keep projects on track and meet end user demands.

2. Establishing a centralised approach for orders

Very much in the same vein as speed, efficiency relies on operations being streamlined and secure throughout. Having one point of contact is often better than a number of individuals or departments getting involved – which could over-complicate an order and slow things down.

Not only that, for managers this means there will only be one Service Level Agreement – and terms and conditions guidelines – to  adhere to, resulting in no lengthy sign-off processes and fewer security concerns, because everything runs through a single source.

3. Exploring a wider portfolio of vital contacts

Leaders who know that they have a professional IT procurement service on hand to always turn to is vital for both peace of mind and maintaining a professional, transparent, and consistent service.

Specialists will typically have a wider network themselves too, so if further products or services are required – that aren’t in their current portfolio – there will likely be a trusted contact they know that can help.

Companies that have strong, meaningful relationships with their suppliers may often treat them like an extension of the existing team – providing motivation, a reliable service and greater competitive edge. Additionally, clients know they’re getting a dependable, streamlined offering.

4. Reducing costs and controlling outgoings

Managing budgets in today’s business climate is all about having agile supply chains that enable enterprises to adapt to ever-changing market conditions. Therefore, variable cost structures – such as flexible purchasing models – should typically be in place to encourage an elastic approach that helps organisations to both control outgoings and scale effectively.

In addition, leaders will want to be safe in the knowledge that their tech procurement needs are being met in the most cost-effective way – perhaps through real-time tracking solutions – so they can release capital for investment across other areas of the business, when needed.

And, if there’s ever a need to re-evaluate budgets, specialists should be able to introduce new suppliers – and renegotiate with existing ones – to alleviate any stresses and save money on transactions and overall operations.

5. Ensuring the best solution to build credibility

Managers must feel that they can speak to their procurement consultant whenever their organisation’s needs evolve. And, in turn, the professional must be one step ahead – understanding how global developments are causing business flux and impacting on efficiency.

By offering in-depth knowledge of the marketplace in real-time – and across a broad range of sectors – this expertise should not only deliver direct benefits but also help leaders to ‘learn from the best’ and improve on their own capabilities. Additionally, specialists often know when the time is right to bring in numerous vendors to provide a commercially savvy solution.

When selecting procurement experts to manage the IT supply chain, it’s important for businesses to firstly align their buying strategy with the overall objectives. This way they can clearly identify where the need is for a specialist, and when they’re required to step in.

Creating a streamlined service that delivers in a timely and efficient fashion will not only create greater loyalty with the end user but develop credibility and a trusted service that positively impacts reputation and bottom line – and delivers true competitive advantage.

Elanders Value Recovery service – Generate 30% extra revenue from your old IT assets

By Elanders

Discover Elanders’ unique IT Asset Value Recovery service. Our innovative software solution compares the market to unlock the hidden value of IT assets and achieves the best price for our clients. 

We help companies increase the value of their old IT Assets by up to 30%.  Elanders’ offer is completely transparent regarding market value. We have a certified & secure supply chain for recovery of assets, data deletion and refurbishment.

We auction your assets to our trusted and certified IT re-furbishers.  When the value is assessed and accepted by you, we collect the assets, wipe all sensitive data and manage the transaction process.

Contact Elanders today to find out more : info@elanders.com