Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of an organisation or place, fundamentally changing how it operates. It is not merely a technology challenge but also a people challenge. In broad terms, there are three main areas which affect digital transformation:
We're working to address challenges in each area to support digital transformation in the West of England.
Improving digital infrastructure in our region is crucial to our region's future success. We're working to reduce the barriers which make it hard for residents and businesses to benefit from digital transformation. These include:
High-speed connectivity for everyone is not yet a reality, but it will be increasingly important for our future and the success of our local businesses. We’re reviewing connectivity across our region to identify areas with poor coverage and create a plan to improve infrastructure.
Even in areas with good broadband coverage, we’re aware that the cost of accessing digital services and devices can make it difficult for people (also known as digital poverty). We would like to see this changed.
We believe that everyone should be able to access high-quality digital resources and benefit from fast, reliable broadband coverage – irrespective of their location or income.
A deficit in digital skills and capabilities slows down progress, for both the economy and society as a whole. It also contributes to the exclusion of communities.
There is currently a shortage of advanced digital skills in the workforce. We're working with local schools, colleges and businesses to ensure the current and future workforce is digital-ready, and that SMEs can access new technology and upskill their employees.
4.9% of people aged 16 years or over last used the internet over 3 months ago, or have never used it.
Digital transformation brings great advantages for businesses, and is built on cultural and behavioural change.
Adoption of digital ways of working can be limited by:
The Combined Authority supports SMEs to increase their digital skills and knowledge with through a range of tailored support programmes.
The strategic nature of digital connectivity in supporting the economy is as critical to all sectors as for example the public transport network.