Right now, we’re in the midst of a digital revolution. The pandemic accelerated the integration and widespread adoption of digital living, but it also forced businesses into a sort of “Digital Darwinism.” A phenomenon defined as “technology that advances faster than the business can adapt.”
Adapting to the sudden requirement to operate digitally, motivated businesses across the world to integrate digital practices or be left behind. The most common example for businesses during COVID was (what used to be known as) telecommuting, better known today as remote working or work from home.
Before COVID-19, a clunky process of dialling in or spending time in traffic to commute to the office was the most common method of attending a meeting. Various lockdowns and Government work from home decrees fast-tracked video calls as the standard meeting format – saving time, energy, and reducing carbon emissions through less commuting. While the transition was not without its growing pains, it’s become the norm for even the most tech adverse.
The good news is that Ireland has made substantial progress on digital development when compared to EU counterparts. Each year, the Digital Economic Society Index compares countries adaptation and integration of all things digital, including connectivity and digitisation of public services.
Overall, Ireland ranks in the top 5 countries in the EU27. Ireland fell short on connectivity in previous years, but in 2021, coverage of Very High-Capacity Networks (VHCN) skyrocketed from 35% to 85%. This is thanks in no small part from fibre network providers, like SIRO, rolling out FTTH (Fibre To The Home) broadband. Productivity increases are one of the most basic benefits to transforming a business’s digital practices, but that’s just scratching the surface. It’s important that any digital change benefits a company internally, but the main driver for success should be to improve customers’ experience.
“While important businesses adopt digital practices to optimise how their employees work, they must also ensure that employees are poised to adapt to the transition”
So, how can businesses optimise their digital practices?
For businesses to benefit from the ongoing digital revolution, it’s important to recognise that technology is only one small step in optimising your business digitally. Cultivating an agile, digital culture is essential to thriving in the new age. Upgrading your everyday practices with automation tools can benefit both employees and customers. The optimised productivity can allow employees to spend time on creating new projects, campaigns and products.
CRM (Customer Relation Management) tools like Zendesk and ZohoDesk automate customer interactions and use data to optimise everyday tasks, e.g., generating reports, creating SLAs (Service Level Agreements), generating automated responses. The overall goal of such tools is to improve business relationships as they capture the necessary data to improve communication between customers and their respective clients. Connectivity is also an integral part of facilitating the transition to digital business. Without reliable broadband, business critical tools like cloud-based technologies and back-end security firewalls would break down.
It’s true that technology and connectivity are cornerstones of a digital business, but one key factor that determines success is adaptability. Companies that have proven adaptability is the key to survival in a digital world, include Netflix and Adobe. Previously, Netflix operated as a DVD rental business, however in the mid 00’s they transitioned to a streaming platform and in turn disrupted the TV and media industry completely.
Adobe, known for their varying software systems, previously rented out software on floppy disks and CDs. Initially it was a one-time, costly purchased. After the recession in 2008, they adapted to the needs of their customers and changed their licensing to a monthly fee or SaaS (Software as a Service) that was upgraded using cloud-based technology, making renewals easier and more cost-effective.
While important businesses adopt digital practices to optimise how their employees work, they must also ensure employees are poised to adapt to the transition. Digital upskilling is essential if your business is to remain agile. According to PwC research, 40% of employees used lockdown to improve their digital skills.
There are added benefits for your organisation too. Investing in your employee’s growth will ensure your businesses survival and can increase retention. In a survey from PwC, it was found that 86% of executives felt digital upskilling improved employee engagement and performance.
At SIRO, our mission since 2015 has been to close the digital divide in Ireland. Fibre broadband is one step is ensuring your business is resilient and future-proofed for the digital era. When it comes to enhancing the digital fitness of your business, it’s not a case of one size fit all. But there are some common themes transferable to all businesses. These include researching exactly what digital tools will suit your business, cultivate and maintain a digital culture, and invest the time in digitally upskilling your work force. Search your business Eircode today to see if your business can connect to SIRO 100% fibre broadband.