|Mega news – it’s well used but a bit slow|
|Written by David Brunnen|
|Tuesday, 20 March 2012 09:43|
Boston Consulting Group report highlights digital business opportunities
To the chagrin of active campaigners for better broadband, the latest BCG report turns attention away from connectivity issues and more towards the benefits for the wider economy.
There is, for the UK economy, a good story to tell and, for the digital naysayers at the opposite end of the shouty spectrum, the study shows that the small businesses who made best use of whatever digital access they could find were also the ones who created most jobs.
The report published yesterday is a follow up to the Boston Consulting Group’s previous observations in October last year and the January just gone.
The report does not dismiss the negatives but the positives are undeniable. In terms of the overall UK economy what matters right now is growth – and sure it would be better if we were better connected but, with traditional British flair for making the best of things, it seems we have a lot going for us in the digital economy stakes.
On the basics of our digital infrastructure quality the UK does not score well but on other measures we could almost claim to be top of the European class. Our national on-line addiction is revealed in how much we use it and how well it fits with other parts of economy. These other factors include a high acceptance of credit cards for purchasing, a good logistics network for getting the on-line shopping home plus an embedded shop-keeping heritage. If only we had more of it.
Complacency, political pride and the dangers of a rural/urban divide aside, the most interesting part of this report is found in the metrics for SMEs - small/medium sized enterprises. Four and a half million UK ventures should be told that those who have taken the Internet to their hearts are also seeing higher sales growth and growing far more jobs – and those that haven’t, aren’t.
Getting this message across to the nation’s business brains is vastly more important than worrying about digital domesticity – not least because the latter follows naturally from the former.
This is why the NextGen Roadshow in York next week is designed to meet the needs of business leaders and innovators. No longer just a debating chamber for connectivity campaigners the Roadshow emphasis is on the demand drivers – the business folk (especially in Yorkshire) who will not hesitate to say exactly what they think if their world is spinning too slowly.
NextGen has also launched NG Connected – a chance for organisations (in sectors well beyond the legacy-preservationist tendencies of telecoms) to influence the way the market is informed and developed.
The BCG report allows no room for ignorance of what is coming down the line. The network builders must respond to greater demand. SMEs - a crucial component of the UK economy - must use their weight to push for the infrastructure investment that will keep us all collaboratively competitive.
This is the 5th year of the NextGen programme - a series of Roadshows leading up to a 2-day conference in October.
NextGen is the UK's premier platform for digital access endeavour and includes NextGen Challenge, NextGen TV and NextGen Connected - a digital outreach programme for organisations working in sectors throughout the UK economy.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 10:31|