Has the coronavirus been the great, digital disrupter? It hasn’t been the COO, the CEO or the CIO that’s been driving the rate of digital acceleration over the last 18 months, it’s been the CO-VID.

Despite many companies identifying, scoping out and budgeting for change, it wasn’t until the pandemic struck that they committed to changes to facilitate people working from home, and the change is remarkable. The rapid upward shift towards ‘going digital’ has unlocked a new mindset as well as opening up a variety of business opportunity improvements across the North-east.

You could argue that the last ‘once in a generation’ digital disrupter was also a ‘bug’ – the millennium bug. Both of these events have been digital enablers that have created a need and urgency for change that was long overdue.

If the global pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that technology must be valued as a crucial component for future success – it’s time to step up and embrace intelligent digital solutions that drive businesses forward.

The tech industry, the fasted growing sector in Scotland, is experiencing an undercurrent of change as more and more companies prioritise the use of digital systems to transform the way they operate. In particular, the energy sector focused on ‘transition’, has triggered a shift in the digital tech landscape – a change that is long overdue.

While digital tech is not a new concept for the industry, it’s only in the last few years that many organisations have begun to fully embrace its potential. But there is some catching up to do.

Technology and digital solutions must be embedded as routine and incorporated as a new standard to drive transformation. On the flip side, it’s also crucial that tech businesses themselves develop robust growth strategies to capitalise on opportunities to meet the evolving needs of modern business.

The tech sector in the North-east is designed to cater for highly regulated industry, which in turn calls for highly advanced digital skills and support therefore it is vitally important we prioritise growth to attract and retain talent.

We must focus on building Aberdeen’s reputation as an exciting place to live and work for digital tech specialists as well as enabling stronger links between the universities and industry.

In this fast-evolving digital world, technology should never stand still. For tech companies, revised working practices post-lockdown is our biggest opportunity. Companies now see the value of having their data in one place and are taking a much more lateral view of their digitalisation needs.

During tough market conditions over the last 18 months with pandemic restrictions affecting the energy sector, Solab stepped up to support our global client base in overcoming many logistical barriers as a consequence of CV19

Our work with global subsea service provider, Subsea 7, is a prime example of how we stayed ahead by adapting our software to continually evolve to meet the needs of modern business. Subsea 7 is now reaping the benefits of implementing a digitally connected system, Onboard Tracker™, that presents data in a clear way to enable decision making, improve forecasting and business performance.

Looking ahead to 2022, digital transformation should be about taking control. Refining processes, structuring data and bolstering infrastructure with an eco-system of modern, connected software applications that will play a key role in business growth and success.

Let’s not have to wait 20 years for another ‘bug’ to keep the digital momentum going!