The Superfast South Yorkshire programme (SFSY) have engaged with Microsoft Partner TechATP to deliver high impact events to small businesses across South Yorkshire.
The first of these events takes place at the iconic NIKKEN Innovation Centre Europe in Rotherham on Thursday 6th July.
The aim of the events is to showcase the full range of business capability and applications to SMEs and to offer the opportunity to claim funding towards an upgrade in connectivity or to introduce new innovations.
"Small businesses are bombarded with networking events and seminars" said Natalie Ward, Superfast South Yorkshire broadband programme manager. "But we wanted to make the content of these events different in that businesses would learn how technology can make a difference to them and what they need to do to be more productive, efficient and competitive."
"By working in partnership with TechATP it gives our Art of the Possible events an edge as practices and demonstrations around capability and consumption will inspire businesses to explore new digital technologies and innovations, social media, mobile, and data analytics. It is really important that small businesses embrace digital transformation for growth and to remain competitive", added Natalie.
This point is reinforced in the recent 'Unlocking Regional Growth' report published by the Confederation of British Industry. The report clearly states that the UK's regional digital infrastructure is preparing for the challenges of tomorrow and that these changes are pivotal to increase business productivity.
The report also highlights that the UK takes the top place globally for e-commerce, and is in fifth place for the availability of technology. It ranks 14th in the world for company level adoption of digital technology as firms struggle to keep up with the pace of technological change.
This digital divide is holding back the UK economy and since the financial crisis, only London and the South East have seen GDP per head rise above pre-crisis level. The most productive area of the UK is now almost three times more productive than the least.
“As businesses are becoming more and more dependent on new technologies to operate efficiently, their broadband connection has never been more important in terms of their ability to perform to maximum potential,” says Neil Hutchinson, business communications expert from Everything Voice.
The Art of the Possible events will take place across the Sheffield City Region and the plan is to host at innovative and inspiring business locations, with event details to be confirmed.