Did you know the typical European car is parked on the side of the street/driveway 92% of the time?  It also has five seats for people but on average only carries one and a half human beings at any one time.  Seems like a waste right?  Why own a car when you can hire one on a trip-by-trip basis – in other words, Uber it.

Now consider the world’s mobile telecoms industry – including the likes of BT, Vodafone, AT & T – combined they generate 20bn of SMS messages a day.  Yet WhatsApp alone creates 30bn of SMS messages in a single day.

Do you see the trend?  The traditional infrastructure of organisations with legacy systems and solutions are inefficient and ineffective – seemingly wasting time and money.

The rules have changed.  Driven by consumer demands for modern services, alongside the tools employees need to deliver them, have evolved along with technological innovations.

This is where new disruptors of the market are coming to the fore and excelling ahead of their older counterparts.  Due to the benefit of starting with a blank sheet of paper, start-ups can design their business based on a ‘digital first’ foundation.

Heritage businesses started in a different age, with operations and logistics systems built on the basis of people and processes – when a banner advert was a paper flyer and getting someone to sign up to a newsletter was someone standing on the street with a clipboard. Legacy systems are difficult to move away from on a practical level, but also emotional binding.  Replacing tried and trusted processes on which these older businesses have built their success can be hard.

What consumers want

According to Fujitsu’s Digital Inside Out study into digital enablement in the UK, more than a fifth of UK consumers will now always opt for a digital-first approach when such service is offered – from online banking to online tax payments, and even one in five people claim they would vote for a political party focused on digital policies.

This trend of digitisation has forever changed consumer behaviour and in response, company marketing strategies have changed too – adapting to cater to this digital demand.

Indeed, many of today’s heritage brands like Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Barclays Bank have all jumped on the digital bandwagon – broadcasting that their products and services can be accessed across an array of digital channels, around the clock.  In fact, the Financial Services industry as a whole has excelled in catering to this demand.  According to Fujitsu’s findings, investment in digital has catapulted Financial Services as the people’s hero in digital offerings.

What employees want

Fujitsu’s Digital Inside Out report also found 73% of employees see digital as vital to the future success of their organisation, yet 55% feel they are not provided with access to the right digital services to do their job sufficiently.

Embracing digital is vital for a business to be successful.  Organisations need to digitalise the back-end as well as the front end to allow employees to work more efficiently.  Too often, the focus is on making a service look slick and sexy for a customer, but their employees live in a mountain of paper and Excel spreadsheets.  This is inefficient, costly, and does little to enhance the morale of their workforce.

But it needn’t be that way.  Digital technologies can help make life easier for employees, simplifying processes for employers, leading to cost savings (and higher profits) for those businesses and better service (and hence loyalty) for customers.  It’s reported that employees are 84% more productive when they have remote plug-in capability, as they can instantly access data they need, when they need it.

Heritage organisations need to deliver

With the digital landscape continuing to develop, there are now more ways than ever before to interactively engage with consumers.  While moving from outdated applications to newer models is a complex, high-risk process for older organisations, it is one that is vital for gaining the agility, cost-savings and ability to compete within a digital-first society.

Simon Carter

Simon Carter


Executive Director of Marketing in UK & Ireland at Fujitsu.