UK business confidence highest when ‘Digital Transformation’ takes centre stage

November 28, 2018

A report published today by Vodafone shows the link between digital transformation and business confidence in the UK. 79% of business leaders say digital transformation is a strategic priority and are keen to exploit its full potential.   Organisations that prioritise digital transformation are also more confident about future growth. Of those business who see digital as a low-priority, only 17% are very confident about their future growth; for those who see digital transformation as a high-priority, this figure almost triples to 50%.

The Digital, Ready? report surveyed 2,001 business leaders across the UK, from sole traders through to large enterprises and the public sector.   It found that a fifth have already successfully implemented digital transformation projects; and more than half believe they are making good progress (53%).  69% recognise that their organisation will not survive if they fail to embrace digital transformation.

The report highlights that organisations are prioritising digital transformation to increase efficiency (39%), improve customer experience (32%) and increase productivity (41%). These goals come ahead of objectives such as shortening the time to market (20%), developing new products and services (25%) and reaching new customers (30%).

Anne Sheehan, Enterprise Director, Vodafone UK commented: “It’s an exciting time for organisations as they set out on their digital transformation journey. The smallest digital steps can have a real impact on the growth and success of an organisation. Implementing the right new technology is helping businesses become smarter, more creative and more efficient.”

The Digital, Ready? report also suggests that those businesses that have embraced digital transformation already are starting to reap the rewards. Almost a quarter (24%) of business leaders have been able to reach new customers or user segments; 30% have seen better customer experience; 28% have increased customer satisfaction; and 22% report higher staff motivation.

More than half (57%) of organisations say that they are planning to spend more than £100k on digital transformation in the next two years. In companies with 5,000+ employees, some 56% expect their investment to exceed £1m. Organisations are exploring a range of technologies in which to invest: real-time data analytics tops the table for three quarters of businesses, followed by Unified Communications, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data.

Anne continues, “We can help businesses to identify which new technologies will deliver the most benefit, from IoT and Unified Communications to Cloud services. We’re three years in to our own five-year transformation to put digital at the heart of our business. So we really understand the journey our customers are on and can share our experiences as we help them thrive in this digital age.”

Businesses report that they face challenges too. The majority of businesses cite the cost of new technology as their biggest challenge (17%); followed by dealing with legacy IT systems while new systems are introduced (12%) and lack of budget (12%).

Vodafone is helping companies of all sizes on their digital transformation journeys. For example, it has worked with South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) on an app to improve efficiency and response times for its 1,200 Community First Responders; with Life’s Kitchen to process orders efficiently with Superfast Broadband; and with Admiral Insurance as its digital telematics partner.

The Digital, Ready?  report can be found here.

The Digital, Ready?  infographic can be found here.




 Notes to editors:

 Figure 1:

Which, if any, of these are current objectives of your digital transformation strategy?


Figure 2:

Q: Do you currently use any of these technologies in your organisation/business? (Use now/Plan to use in the next two years/no plans to adopt

 About the research

Research was conducted by Circle Research in August 2018. All 2001 respondents were involved in strategy and/or technology decision making at their organisation and were reached through an online quantitative survey.

The Digital, Ready? research defined digital transformation as the following key areas: internal transformation to HR, Finance, CRM systems etc. to drive efficiencies and cost savings; service transformation covering any interaction with the customer to improve NPS/customer loyalty; and new product development transformation – creating new products or entering new markets with the objective to develop new revenue streams and increasing profitability.

Breakdown of respondents:

The 437 Public Sector and 1504 Private Sector decision makers surveyed came from across the UK: East England (159), East Midlands (165), London (321), North East & Yorkshire (249), North West (263), Northern Ireland (48), Scotland (143), South East (274), South West (132), Wales (92), and West Midlands (155). They were chosen from 23 industries ranging in organisational size from sole traders to large enterprises.


















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About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is part of Vodafone Group, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, and provides a range of services including voice, messaging, data and fixed communications. Vodafone Group has mobile operations in 25 countries, partners with mobile networks in 44 more, and has fixed broadband operations in 18 markets. As of 30 September 2018, Vodafone Group had 531.9 million mobile customers and 20.4 million fixed broadband customers, including India and all of the customers in Vodafone’s joint ventures and associates. For more information about Vodafone UK, please visit:

Vodafone UK partners with businesses of all sizes – from start-ups and small businesses to the largest corporates and the public sector. The company has worked with UK businesses for over 30 years, starting out as a mobile provider and becoming one of the UK’s leading total communications partners. It provides a range of voice and data services, secure communications infrastructure, fixed and contact centre capability, and unified communications, and was the first mobile phone operator to offer a truly converged service for fixed and mobile.

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