Making the most of digitalisation with fast, reliable connectivity


Digital transformation is here to stay, and businesses across all sectors are embracing it.

Offering an abundance of benefits and opportunities, digital transformation is more than simply implementing new technologies in the workplace. It’s innovation at an industry level, embedding digital solutions into the bedrock of your business’s operations. And in today’s landscape, keeping pace with technology is vital to remaining competitive.

Large businesses are already reaping the rewards of digitalisation – whether it’s taking advantage of greater and quicker access to information or better integration into global markets. SMEs are eager to follow suit by unlocking growth through technologies such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing.

But to achieve this, SMEs need the right infrastructure built into their operations. Access to a rapid and resilient network underpins digital transformation, and it’s becoming increasingly essential to unlock growth for SME businesses.

Why does digitalisation matter for SMEs?

Recent events such as the cost-of-living crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions have presented difficult challenges for operations of all sizes to navigate. And fuel prices and supply-chain disruptions continue to have an enduring impact on businesses the world over.

In the face of the pandemic, businesses were forced to adapt quickly to survive, but the speed at which they could do so was dependent on their digital capabilities. Flexibility and agility are crucial to future success; larger organisations are already looking to technology to boost their operational performance, customer support and employee satisfaction – be it through utilising AI or hybrid working. This is reflected in the Forrester Predictions 2023 report, which found that most enterprises now have investment in AI and are seeing positive results.

According to the World Economic Forum, approximately 67% of SME operations are currently fighting for survival. If smaller businesses want to prosper and stand out from their competitors, it’s essential that they remain resilient to challenges and are forward-thinking in their approach.

The benefits of technology

So how can digital transformation empower smaller businesses?

A key benefit is greater flexibility. Hybrid working is a strong example of this, and CIPD research has shown that 83% of employers have now introduced a hybrid working model, while 38% of organisations state that it’s boosted operational efficiency. The success of a hybrid working model is determined by the ability of employees to stay connected, which is achieved through services like cloud-based storage and secure access to applications.

Technology can also enhance SMEs’ operational efficiency while strengthening the overall customer experience – a crucial facet for continued growth. For instance, AI and automation can allow businesses to take advantage of huge datasets for analysis of trends, and forecasts of demand in stock. Additionally, technology can give organisations the tools to offer a uniquely tailored approach to customer service, taking behavioural trends of shoppers or service users into account and providing anything from personal product recommendations to automated customer service.

With so many potential benefits at their disposal, it’s important that SMEs know how they can maximise the technology they invest in, and how to ensure that any steps towards digitalisation are as efficient and successful as possible.

Putting down foundations for growth

For any business, the success of investment in new technology hinges on having the right foundations in place. A fast and flexible network connection facilitates continued and reliable access to important data and services. This unlocks efficiency gains, and it’s never been more imperative.

With hybrid working increasingly the norm for many organisations, more and more depend on cloud storage to enable their workforces to collaborate effectively. But if their network connections are slow and unreliable, as well as impacting productivity, it can soon lead to frustrated employees who can’t complete daily tasks or access the information they need.

Data analysis can also be hindered. Without a network that’s able to handle vast amounts of data, the technology that depends on it (such as AI) won’t function optimally. This can result in missed opportunities for innovation or efficiency gains that may give a SME the edge it needs.

In light of this, a growing number of forward-thinking SMEs are embracing strategic network solutions such as dedicated leased lines, which offer resilient, high-speed connectivity. Building on these foundations, these SMEs are leveraging new technologies to bolster their services in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Gearing up for the future

As the reliance on cutting-edge technology keeps growing amongst SMEs, so does the need for an ultrafast, ultra-reliable network. For any businesses looking to expand, they must ensure that they can effectively support the technology and innovation that will give them a competitive advantage.

Although solutions like a dedicated leased line might be a considerable investment, ultimately the cost of slow and unreliable connections can be much more significant in the long term.

The age of digitalisation is here – SMEs must ensure they make the most of it.

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