Informed by year-on-year results of the annual Regional ICT Benchmarking Survey, the Group developed a Business ICT Action Plan with the aims of:
- Providing a coordinated response to market messages arising from the regional ICT benchmarking study and other market intelligence
- Reinforcing the importance of ICT as an enabler of improved business performance, investment and productivity
- Articulating a shared vision for developing regional priorities and opportunities for public and private sector investment
The three year Action Plan (2009-12) focused on six priorities which are linked to the strategic objectives set out in the current Regional Economic Strategy.
Priority 1 – Communication: Promote the business benefits of ICT
Devise and deliver a regional marketing and communications approach that focuses on the business benefits and drivers of ICT adoption rather than the technology involved. This activity should seek to:
- provide the wider business support community with a range of promotional tools to demonstrate business benefit to customers
- exploit linkages with complementary initiatives, such as innovation
Priority 2 – Transition: Stimulate progressive ICT adoption
Increase business performance as measured by key indicators of ICT adoption and implementation, using effective customer segmentation to move companies up the adoption ladder.
Priority 3 – Synergy: Link ICT with agility in innovation and enterprise
Position ICT clearly within the business support offer, seeking to improve levels of ICT literacy and awareness and thus contribute to wider initiatives such as innovation and enterprise.
Priority 4 – Capability: Build recognition of the benefits of ICT literacy and training
Work with regional partners and providers to enhance the connection between business support delivery and the ICT skills agenda, improving business recognition of the benefits of ICT training.
Priority 5 – Impact: Increase ROI and business performance
Work with commercial ICT providers and resellers to improve the overall quality, coherence and impact of the customer offer and therefore to maximise return on ICT investment and business performance.
Priority 6 – Leverage: Maximise regional impact, competitiveness and investment
Identify the opportunities arising from increased ICT adoption and work with partners in the public and private sectors to maximise regional impact, competitiveness and investment through a range of complementary initiatives.
As a result of the Business ICT Action Plan, it was agreed that further work needed to be undertaken to help businesses progress in using ICT for business process improvement, product and service innovation, and market expansion. This led to the scoping of the current Transformational ICT Programme, where Digital 20/20 is helping Yorkshire and Humber to take a lead in a national programme from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to give British businesses competitive advantage.