Australia is aiming to be among the leading global digital economies by 2020, but what is a digital economy, and how can it help your business?

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“A digital economy is the global network of economic and social activities that are enabled by information and communications technologies, such as the internet, mobile and sensor networks” (DBCDE, 2013, What is a digital economy?).

A digital economy relies on ubitquitous, high-speed broadband to all Australian homes, businesses and community organisations, which is being rolled out with the National Broadband Network (NBN).

A digital economy means:

  • more online sales and business services
  • improved access to and for people in regional/remote locations
  • opportunities to work and learn anywhere
  • smarter and more sustainable buildings and equipment
  • better health and government services

But how can a digital economy help your business?

 

Improved Customer Sales and Service

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Having on online presence, either through a website, online/eBay store or social media, means that you can widened your customer base or offer what you currently do in different ways.

For example:

  • providing anywhere, anytime customer service which helps save your customers time and money
  • employing ‘give to get’ strategies which utilise the ‘push and pull’ of the web
  • allowing you to get feedback from customers online without having to be online 24/7
  • enabling you to automate some of your customer service strategies, and
  • making use of freely available data to monitor your business’s progress and productivity

Increased business productivity

Using information and communication technology (ICT) means you can run your business smarter, and therefore increase its productivity.

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Using web-based or ‘cloud’ business services means that you can run your business from anywhere via your smart phone, tablet and/or laptop.

Synchronised services through these devices allow you to automatically back up your files to a server off-site, allowing the quick recovery of your files in the case of theft or damage of your equipment (eg through flooding or fire).  Synchronised cloud-services also mean that you can continue to work when you are not connected to the internet.

Switching to ‘cloud-based’ services, such as web-email, accounting and HR systems, and being able to access your files from anywhere and from any device, means you can easily collaborate and share files/information across locations and organisations.

Cloud business solutions allow you to quickly ‘scale up’ your technical infrastructure when you need it.  This avoids the need for large capital investment outlays when you don’t need to use it all.  Similarly with software licensing. Cloud business solutions allow you can ‘pay as you go’, rather than pay upfront or annually.

As part of their core business, reputable cloud business service providers ensure that their online services and interactions are safe and secure.  Unlike a small business, which has limited resources to dedicate to this type of thing.

Widening your pool of talent

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Working in the cloud also means a greener business as some jobs no longer require people to travel to a central location to undertake their business.  This means you can widen the pool of employees from which you can choose to hire because you are no longer restricted by geographical location.

Recent surveys show that employees are more likely to stay with their current employer if they can negotiate flexible or ‘tele-working’ arrangements.

Running a business in a digital economy provides opportunities to outsource parts of your business operations to virtual assistants and other types of ‘tele-workers’,  saving you time and therefore money.  This opportunity offers your business the ability to quickly access the skills and expertise it needs without the need to provide the workspace or infrastructure to get the job done, and often at a lower cost.

With increased online education and workplace online training, professional development for staff has never been easier.

 

If you would like to “Be Ahead of the Pack” and learn more about how your business can make the most of the digital economy, contact us to:

Participate in our “Be Ahead of the Pack” business development program which will have you working digitally smarter in no time.

Join us online through the following webinars (run in collaboration with Workforce Blueprint and ACPET):

Email us to order the one-hour webinar recording, presentation slides and fact sheets for the following topics (only $33 incl GST for each set):

  • ‘Implementing online customer services’
  • ‘The Cloud & More’
  • ‘Running your business from anywhere’
What is a digital economy and how can it help your business?

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