Gill Hunter, chair of the digital steering group.
Chloe Shakesby

Digital hub launches as research reveals "huge" tech potential in North East

A new digital hub is being launched in the North East after new research has shown a “huge” potential for tech to boost business growth in the region.

Research from the North East England Chamber of Commerce research was led by the Chamber’s digital steering group using information from its quarterly economic survey and roundtable discussions with business leaders.

Findings revealed that “almost all” participants and respondents believed digital transformation was more important for them following the pandemic, with reasons including the improvement of business agility, customer experience and operation efficiency.

The research also showed that 40 per cent of business respondents are currently forming a digital transformation strategy, and that 25 per cent already have a strategy in place which is being followed - but another 25 per cent are only implementing digital transformation on an ad-hoc basis and have no formal strategy.  

The new digital hub is part of the Chamber’s campaign to help create a “well-connected and stronger” North East.

Gill Hunter, who chaired the group, said: “The last 18 months has meant that businesses have really appreciated the differentiating role technology can bring to their business.

“This has led to increased focus on the business’s digital strategy, ensuring it aligns with their overall business strategy.

“From the conversations I have had, it is clear business leaders are grappling with a multitude of issues, so this initiative is to sign post relevant information to business leaders to support their digital transformation and develop their digital leadership skills.”

Amber Burney, the Chamber’s policy and engagement executive said: “We believe it is ever-more important that companies are encouraged to adopt technology and digital processes.

“They play such a significant role in increasing business productivity, reaching customers, reducing a carbon footprint and futureproofing businesses to make them more competitive.” 

Simon Michie, chief technology officer at Pulsant, added: “The UK is in the midst of a major technology transformation that is creating new opportunities for businesses in the North East of England.

“It used to be that businesses closer to technology hubs in the South East were at an advantage but the emergence of edge computing is breaking down the barriers of location.

“We’re now seeing regional businesses leverage UK-wide edge computing platforms to gain immediate access to the cloud-based services they need to innovate and grow.”

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