A headline in Cloud Pro two weeks ago suggested only one third of UK businesses have a “digital strategy” in place, but actually it might be worse than that! Whatever the actual numbers, Cloud Pro’s article presents an important message that UK businesses, large and small, need to heed. I’d suggest the situation might be worse than a third of UK businesses on two counts:
- First, the Ingram Micro survey was conducted from respondents attending Cloud Expo Europe, held in London on 12-13 April 2016. The important survey findings are published here, but it’s important to note that it was a tech savvy audience already aware of at least some of the emerging technology issues as they were attending a cloud event to find out more, and so not a general cross section of UK business.
- Secondly, when many digital consultants and end user companies think digital transformation, they are only considering marketing and eCommerce, when actually the digital topic spans the whole of the business process end to end.
So I’d suggest that an even larger proportion of UK business haven’t considered incorporating digital fully in to their business strategy. But why is it so important? One of the people who have expressed it best was John T. Chambers, the outgoing President and CEO of Cisco, on the opening day of their Cisco Live event on 8 June a year ago. He told the 25,000 attendees, including many of his biggest and best customers:
“Forty percent of businesses in this room, unfortunately, will not exist in a meaningful way in 10 years,”
adding that 70% of companies would “attempt” to go digital but only 30% of those would succeed, and then he said:
“If I’m not making you sweat, I should be.”
“It will become a digital world that will change our life, our health, our education, our business models at the pace of a technology company change”
Chambers went on to warn companies that they could not:
“miss a market transition or a business model”
“underestimate your competitor of the future — not your competitor of the past.”
“Either we disrupt or we get disrupted”.
Digital Darwinism in plain English – I don’t think the consequences of missing the digital point have been have been expressed with more clarity!
If you want to find out more about this topic I’ve got two recommendations. Read more of the material here, but also consider attending the Enterprise Digital Summit Paris in June. You will know that we co-produce the London edition which will be in November, but we’ll be in Paris next month, and we’d love to see you there to talk real digital business.
John Chambers photo from UK Business Insider, Julie Bort