UK companies ‘unable to scale’ digital transformation plans


As digital leaders of UK businesses aim to put themselves in a good position for the future, with digital transformation at the forefront of their strategies – the likelihood in the immediate future is that they may not be ready to take that step.


The economy is looking to bounce back from the stunted growth, due to the overwhelming impact of Covid-19. UK businesses have identified connectivity funding as a key requirement to successful business growth. However, according to a report by internet access and business connectivity provider Neos Networks, four in every five UK business firms are unable to implement digital transformation plans because of the lack of investment in core IT connectivity systems.


The report which gathered the views and results from 247 medium-to-large UK organisations, and data, cloud and network infrastructure service providers, found that only 20% businesses are in a position to undertake digital transformation plans.


The impact of Covid-19 somewhat forced many firms to accelerate their digital transformation due to changes in the workplace and how day-to-day working duties are carried out. The report highlighted:


  • 49% of firms that were surveyed confirmed that digital transformation plans were accelerated by a year or more

  • 98% of firms said they consider digital transformation to be important to their future strategy


The key to successful digital transformation was pinpointed on the fact that 80% of UK firms that experienced it, invested 20% or more of digital transformation budget to connectivity or networking.


For businesses which allocated 10% or less of their budget to connectivity or networking, their chances of success were down to 19%. This highlighted the key role in which connectivity plays in business development. As businesses battle to ensure they have systems ready for the future, the challenges remain very evident.


The report further highlighted the successful elements to digital transformation. Amongst the most common are the following:


  • 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% of businesses say IT department is always involved in specifying and implementing connectivity solutions used in digital transformation

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

  • 72% of UK businesses have a ‘very supportive’ telecoms partner

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

  • Whilst some of UK businesses have had success due to the influence of connectivity, the challenges of the pandemic have placed on businesses have hindered the progress of the majority of businesses.


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.”