Embrace your digital side
Technology has the power to transform the world as we know it. David Webb, co-founder of consultancy 6point6, sees a future where digital capability and big data enable businesses to do more with less, more quickly and engage better with their customers.
How has your business evolved?
A lot of the work we were originally doing was around transitioning organisations from legacy and heritage estates to more online, more controlled, new technology platforms delivering service to both internal users and their external clients. That became our digital transformation business. Then the move away from standardised data technologies and making better use of big data and analytics as part of this transformation became a key part [of the service offering].
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced so far in growing a digital business / responding to digital competition?
We are a people business. We’re selling knowledge and capability and that means we need to attract and retain the best talent that we possibly can, but it’s a very competitive market. The UK IT sector is probably about five times under-supplied by the right qualified people and the indications are that the skills gap is likely to last until 2020 in the best case view.
How are you future-proofing your business and keeping up with technological advancements?
All our technology is ‘cloud first’, which means we have a completely mobile workforce. We can access 6point6 from anywhere in the world, 24/7. If clients are talking to us about digital technologies, we need to be clear that we are digital throughout our DNA.
Our clients want more flexibility in their business. They want to do more for less and they want a much more streamlined IT landscape. So the move to cloud, or cloud transformation, has been at the heart of a lot of our customers’ needs and goals over the last few years. With Cloud Gateway we have offered a solution that sits side-by-side with your existing networking infrastructure that you can hook into and immediately start to realise some of the benefits of cloud without having to rip up the playbook you already have from your core networking estate.
What impact might new / emerging technology have?
I think there will be a cycle of change that will be driven by the introduction of new technologies or new ways of interacting with your client base. The internet of things and machine and deep learning will start really moving forward at pace in the next few years and they will be the new disruptors of businesses. Where the disruption is today is unlikely to be the same in 10 to 15 years’ time. There will be new technologies and smaller, niche organisations will take advantage of their skill in that area.
What does the Government need to do to encourage digitalisation and keep the UK competitive?
The government has some really good case studies in the way it has gone about doing this [digital transformation] at large scale. By talking about it – about how they have gone about it, their successes and some of the failures – they could probably do small and medium-sized businesses a large amount of good.
Webb talks more on big data and digital transformation. Read the full interview.