By Barry Maxey, Director Client Technology, Armstrong Watson

AS the digital revolution swiftly continues, here are some reasons why we all need to consider how well placed our own businesses are in these changing times:

Exposure to cyber-attacks

Even for those that don’t acknowledge their business as needing to adopt a policy of digital transformation, the fact that all businesses are susceptible to cyber-attacks means we all need to manage that risk. Research by the FSB suggests that 20% of small firms have been victims of cyber-crime in the past two years, with the annual cost to the small business community estimated to be £4.5 billion!

Mobile friendly website

As mobile internet access overtakes desktop, it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to ensure their site is user friendly whatever technology customers are using, or offering both a mobile and desktop version. This is your “shop window” and it needs to be as good as it can be.

Speed of change

Digital technology changes at an incredible speed. Taking too long to recognise and adapt means you could be playing a costly catch up. For example, if you are only using traditional social media for targeting customers, you may find that you are missing a trick with your younger demographic as messaging apps such as Snapchat, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger increase in popularity.

Focus on compliance

Whilst some businesses will embrace digital transformation, some may just tackle what they need to and nothing more. For example, you will now be “Making Tax Digital” compliant, but have you considered how by just moving your accounts into the cloud, you could now also use that as a springboard to improve your customer experience and improve your management information reporting with little extra effort?

Financial returns

Whilst the pace of change is quick, digital transformation can take time. That’s not to say there aren’t quick wins, but fundamental change involves culture, training, governance and technology integration. For example, Hasbro (toys and gaming giant) took 7 years to transform but its stock rose 203% during that time. Small businesses can do a lot without huge changes or cost just by leveraging existing infrastructure better and adding on some digital improvements which may improve processes or customer experience, or just something which helps attract those customers better.

For help and advice to assist with technological change within your business please get in touch with Barry Maxey, Client Technology Director, on 07469 850632 or email