Thank you to everyone who attended the first-ever DLR Summit hosted by Digital Dún Laoghaire on Thursday, 8th June at the Pavilion Theater. We were delighted to host a line-up of industry leaders and thank each one for educating our community on the topic of digital transformation.
Speakers from organizations such as Microsoft, Facebook, IBM, and more made Dún Laoghaire’s first tech conference a success. We were able to get #DLRSummit trending across Twitter in Ireland at the number three spot for several hours and eventually jumped to number one.
It was invigorating to see the Pavilion full with students, business leaders, and digital innovators all come to congregate and learn about all aspects of digital transformation, including how to utilize social media platforms, how to provide excellent user experience and the changing nature of digital communication.
BID Chairperson Anthony Quigley was delighted with the summit’s outcome. Noting, “It was a huge success. Our speakers were excellent, they really gave audiences something to go home with,” he said.
Adrian Hopkins of Conference Managers agreed. “We’re really looking forward to getting started on planning the next DLR Summit. From today’s success, it’s obvious DLR Summit is the kind of event Dún Laoghaire gears up for.”
Thank you again to everyone who attended and to our outstanding speakers. Be sure to look out for DLR Summit 2018! See you all next year.
Microsoft : Irish organizations need to join the digital transformation
Charlie Taylor reported in the Irish Times(5th of May) that a recent study from Microsoft found that Irish companies that fail to implement digital strategy are in danger of missing out on opportunities afforded by the digital economy, a sector anticipated to be worth $100 trillion by 2025.
Two years is the time frame Microsoft gave Irish companies to digitize in order to survive the upcoming tech revolution. The study found that confusion about how precisely to implement technologies like cloud computing or data analytics prevent organizations from digitally transforming.
The research showed that digital disruption from competition could effect up to half of all Irish businesses. Many of these companies don’t know how to begin altering strategy or implementing digital in order to remain competitive.
Amarach Research, the organization conducting the study of 300 Irish companies, found that the organizations themselves had a very different view of how they interacted with digital. 80 percent of companies overestimated their readiness for the changing digital landscape. Further, 60 percent perceived themselves as disrupters.
Although half of all companies included in the study have digital strategies implemented already, 25 percent felt unsure of how to approach digital transformation. A lack of digital skills and slow-decision making were a few of the reasons cited for an absence of digital strategy.
‘Disrupt or be Disrupted’
Amarach’s study corresponds with a joint Microsoft/Harvard Business Review report which found that although 80 percent of senior-level leaders felt digital transformation would have a positive impact on their business over the next three years, less than half of those had a strategy in place to take advantage of these opportunities.
Digital transformation impacts businesses of all sizes. According to small and medium solutions and partners director at Microsoft Ireland, Aisling Curtis, the life expectancy of a Fortune 500 company 50 years ago would have been about 75 years. “Today, it is less than 15 years due to digital transformation,” she said.
Curtis said that although there is quite a bit of confusion on how to approach digital transformation globally, it is particularly problematic in Ireland. “Many organisations are ill-prepared for dealing with it.”
“People are unclear about what priorities or trends to respond to, and this is giving rise to a digital myopia with many organisations thinking they are disrupters, while the reality is that 44 per cent of the companies we surveyed said they were only just keeping up.”
In order to be competitive in a digital landscape, Curtis said that transformation has to be implemented at all levels-from customers, to employees, to operations.
She said “It is also about a cultural adoption, and this needs to come from the chief executive downwards.” The digital revolution needs to be addressed by companies, said Curtis. “It really is a case of disrupt or be disrupted.”
Looking towards the future, “it is likely that digital savvy employees will increasingly have a big influence on future strategy.”
Aisling Curtis is Director of Small Medium Solutions and Partner at Microsoft Ireland. She will be speaking at the DLR Summit on 8 June 2017.
From Laura Slattery for the Irish Times on May 4, shopping in Ireland continues to move off high-street to online. According to a recent study by Wolfgang Digital, Irish e-commerce revenue grew by 45 percent in 2016, marking major growth for the second consecutive year.
Wolfgang Digital notes that this online growth translates into a rate at nine times the rate of Ireland’s gross domestic product. Chief executive Alan Coleman said that Ireland can “expect this rampant growth to continue” in years to come.
According to Coleman, online spending accounts for 6 percent of the Irish economy, where in “the advanced UK market, online’s share of spend is as high as 16 per cent.”
This recent report studied a sampling of Irish retail and travel companies. The organizations surveyed had combined earnings of nearly €300 million for the year 2016.
Retailers cited a revenue growth of 24 percent. As for Irish travel sites, Wolfgang determined these businesses had a “whopping” 79 percent swell in earnings. These sites also boasted a 15 percent rise in average transaction value, in addition to an improved rate for converting visitor traffic into revenue-earning transactions, likely due to a recent tourism boom in the country.
Shoppers took to the Internet for the yearly Christmas shop, figures from the fourth quarter suggest. As transaction growth exceeded revenue growth, the study indicates that online retailers offered customers online discounts, which were readily taken advantage of by holiday shoppers.
Cutting-edge advertisement formats such as “conversion-focused” strategies earned retailers who adopted these formats early-on higher revenues. Google Shopper ranked as the top-performing revenue-driver for companies included in the study. The format, which promotes search results from various retail sites in response to keywords, was only launched in Ireland in 2016’s fourth quarter.
Wolfgang cited smartphones as the primary mode of shopping online. The devices accounted for 45 percent of online traffic, with desktop browsers holding 42 percent of traffic, and 13 percent generating from tablet devices.
Coleman wasn’t surprised by these results, despite this being the first Wolfgang study to find mobile traffic outpacing desktop.
Wolfgang Digital found that the portion of revenue for retail sites originating from outside of Ireland cooled from 36 percent in 2015 to 19 percent. The study cites this trend as a result of the weakening of the pound in comparison to the euro.
However, Coleman said Brexit offers Irish e-commerce retailers an opportunity in regards to the European market. Not only is competition in the UK is “floating further and further away from the valuable European market,” but also “the EU’s drive to enhance the Digital Single Market” make the European market a prime target for Irish e-retailers.
Alan Coleman is the CEO and founder of Wolfgang Digital. He will be speaking at the DLR Summit on 8 June 2017.