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UK mid-market firms plan on “transforming customer experience” with digital investment

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The Digital to the Core study revealed 72 per cent of the businesses said digital is an important priority in general. Looking deeper, 68 per cent plan to increase digital investment over the next two years, while 35 per cent hope to enhance spending by over ten per cent.

“What we are seeing here could be a real tipping point in the adoption of digital technologies by mid-tier companies,” said Nathan Beaver, customer & growth director at KPMG Enterprise. 

“While some sectors – notably construction and manufacturing – remain to be convinced, most of the other economic areas we surveyed see digital as a transforming force in their businesses. This is particularly true in understanding and being able to leverage customer behaviour.”

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Despite the outlook, just 14 per cent of the mid-sized businesses admitted they “strive to stay at the cutting edge”. This is in line with a Barclays report on 13 April that found annual spending via mobiles will hit £53.6bn by 2024, though fewer than three per cent of retailers said they’re “at the cutting-edge when it comes to being mobile ready”. 

Elsewhere, 32 per cent of mid-market respondents said they would rather wait and see if new technology is proven before investing, though IT & telecommunications, media and finance firms were keen to view digital as a priority.

Beaver continued: “Those who are adopting the ‘wait and see’ approach are playing a risky game. While there is nothing inherently wrong in waiting for technology to be proven, there is a danger that such an approach could give rise to a ‘two-tier digital economy’ where some mid-tier organisations end up falling behind and being overtaken by those more innovative businesses.”

Reasons for holding back on embracing new technologies included implementation issues for 21 per cent, while 19 per cent said there is a lack of company vision and strategy. The report highlighted that companies don’t need to rush into things, but they can break down plans into projects in order to stay relevant and not fall behind.

Image: Shutterstock

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