Businesses must pay more attention to digital transformation, to ensure that they are not left behind by competitors.

So say Colt CEO Carl Grivner and director of portfolio Peter Coppens, speaking to Network on Demand. Grivner told us:

“A recent Computing survey found that one third of UK businesses have no digital transformation strategy.

“Frankly, this research is worrying, to say the least, because enterprises need to embrace digital transformation to protect themselves from disruptors that have gone on to change the very industries that gave rise to them in the first place. AirBnB, Uber and Netflix to name just a few have ensured their place in history by disrupting industries in ways that many thought impossible. In their wake, they’ve left countless casualties.”

Grivner referenced the example of US camera manufacturer Kodak, which infamously developed digital cameras before anyone else, but didn’t release them in fear of killing the existing – but declining – film camera market. Kodak’s competition had no such compunction.

“They say hindsight is 20/20, but we can always learn from the mistakes of those who have failed to embrace digital transformation. Kodak, once the largest camera manufacturer in the world was almost entirely displaced by digital photography because they rested on their laurels and failed to adopt new technology.

“But that’s an old story now. Today digital transformation can appear in much more subtle ways: the shift to the cloud, for instance. Just last week, Mary Meeker – the influential internet guru who publishes the annual Internet Trends report – said: ‘Cloud adoption is reaching new heights and creating new opportunities.’”

Coppens knows that digital transformation is on its way, but like Grivner acknowledges that there are multiple firms that still haven’t started the move:

“Cisco publishes a Visual Networking Index (VNI) every year, this year predicting that global IP traffic will increase nearly threefold over the next five years, with business IP traffic seeing a CAGR of 18 per cent over the same period; largely due to increased adoption of advanced video communications. In the enterprise segment video will cause business IP traffic to grow by a factor of two between 2015 and 2020.

“The numbers show that a digital transformation is definitely coming – for some, not fast enough; for others, too fast. A Gartner survey found that enterprise executives expect that 41 per cent of revenue will come from digital business by 2020 – almost double what is was in 2015. But the analyst believes there are still too many enterprises that have yet to embark on a digital transformation strategy.”

In the infrastructure market, digital transformation means replacing legacy cable systems with modern scalable infrastructure. It’s a big commitment, but one that – like Kodak’s refusal to move with the times – could cause significant damage to a business if ignored.