Last updated: 14.09.13

NI firms 'must prepare for digital revolution'

Northern Irish companies need to adapt their business models to accommodate the demands of the digital revolution or they could lose out to competitors.

This is according to head of engineering at Deloitte Digital UK Mike Robinson, who announced at the Digital DNA conference in Titanic Belfast yesterday (September 13th) that firms must prepare for "digital disruption" or risk being left behind, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

He said that while the rapid rise of technology has proved challenging, it has also opened doors to a world of opportunity, including the progress made by low-cost broadband, ecommerce solutions and smartphones.

"Change to your sector could be some way off or it could happen much sooner," Mr Robinson claimed, before adding that, in reality, some businesses will emerge stronger than others and the trick is to know how each sector will be impacted in future.

The tech expert was building on findings from the Short Fuse, Big Bang? paper released by Deloitte Australia, which analysed to what extent the various industries and organisations will be challenged by the digital age.

Companies that are already adjusting their business strategies in order to prepare for digital disruption include John Lewis, Tesco and Adobe, with these firms currently focusing on how they can match their digital capabilities with the needs of consumers.

Mr Robinson stated business leaders in the "short fuse, big bang quadrant", like retail, finance, media and IT organisations, will already be feeling the effects of the digital revolution upon their brand.

"Increased competition and falling revenue streams will need urgent action," he was quoted as saying.

The Belfast conference was held in order to inform companies about how they can exploit digital opportunities to ultimately boost their productivity and returns on investment. 

It might be worth any firms that haven't yet focused much on online platforms training their employees so they are more equipped to deal with the challenges being posed by the digital revolution.