Universal connectivity in Ireland will help businesses achieve uninterrupted growth
Ireland has been diligently building a robust digital infrastructure, aiming to provide high-speed internet to every home and business within the next three to four years. What does this mean for businesses?
Competency with universal connectivity
“Consumer expectations for digital access to businesses will become much greater,” says Paul Jevons, director at Analysys Mason. “Companies that aren’t ready are likely to face big commercial and competitive challenges. If you’re not able to undergo your own digital transformation, you are likely to lose out to the competition.”
Value of cloud capabilities
Cloud services are the backbone of the digital economy. It can scale as needed, allowing organisations to adapt quickly to changing demands. It also enables real-time collaborations, data analytics and improved remote working.
“Cloud gives much greater reliability and accessibility. We can increase our capacity in line with demand rather than having to make big investments ahead of anticipated growth,” explains Patrick Kidney, partner and head of Ireland, Analysys Mason.
Ability to manage and use big data
As Ireland becomes universally connected, the volume of data generated will be huge. Businesses can derive valuable insights from this data treasure trove, helping to make better-informed decisions and enhance customer experiences.
“You need to understand what data you have and go through a process of bringing it into one place and tidying it up,” Kidney says. “You need to think, too — if the future business model is digital, how many of our existing customers do we have the email address for?”
With better connectivity comes great responsibility. Businesses and government agencies must be prepared to defend against increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks. “It’s not just a technical aspect; staff will need training too,” Kidney insists.
Cybersecurity is also about developing robust contingency plans to swiftly respond and recover if a business faces a cyber threat. “Businesses need to start thinking through, not only the increased preventative measures required by increased access and moving to the cloud but also the responsive measures,” Jevons says.
Planning for uninterrupted operations
Businesses need to consider implementing a gradual digital transformation to ensure minimal disruption and a smooth transition to a tech-savvy model while maintaining day-to-day operations. “One of the biggest challenges of undergoing a digital journey is that it has to be done in parallel with running a business, which can be hard,” Jevons warns. “Identifying the appropriate ‘how’ is a key part of a successful plan.”
This article was published in the Irish Independent on 18 September 2023 in a special report on Digital Transformation.