Investing in Digital Transformation

Digital transformation – a focused change effort

SNG’s research shows that driving digital transformation creates jobs, grows the local economy, and improves local quality of life.

However, SNG’s research also shows that over half of businesses and households do not take full advantage from broadband and online practices because they do not have the awareness

Change does not happen on its own. Digital transformation happens when the status quo is no longer acceptable for households and businesses, for network providers, and for the locality overall. Furthermore, technology and online practices are continually evolving which requires digital transformation to be a focused change effort.

Investing in a Digital Transformation Program is needed because most people require active engagement to raise their awareness and develop their capabilities to use technology and online practices. This nurtures the broadband market, drives local economic growth, and community benefits.

To drive digital transformation requires investing in marketing, community engagement, and impact tracking. Similar to investing in education where there is an educational foundation that everyone should have, there is a base level of digital ‘know-how’ everyone should have.

Taking the education analogy a step further, we do not ask a child what kind of education they want – we ask them what they want to be when they are older. Similarly, for the majority of households and businesses, why are they being asked what kind of subscription they want when they don’t know what they could be doing online, what kind of online presence they want to have – or should have?

To drive digital transformation, localities and broadband service providers need to nurture broadband demand by:

  • Raising awareness with residents and businesses by showing them what they can aspire to
  • Providing training and resources so they can achieve their goals
  • Supporting a lifelong learning process in the locality for its economic and social vitality


Personalizing the Value of Broadband

Utilization is driven by needs. People are motivated to subscribe to a broadband service based on how they will use it. These needs vary and need to be personalized. For example, household needs include:

  • Households with children who need the internet for school study and homework.
  • Seniors who need telehealth service, such as home health monitoring.
  • Being able to telework effectively for those who have an opportunity to work remotely.
  • Operating a home business with effective access to the internet.
  • Earning additional household income online.
  • Staying connected with family in other locations.

Similarly, business needs can vary even though many businesses share common needs. Most businesses now recognize that they need a web presence, whether it is a website or through social media, or both. Many businesses sell their product or services online, but how they do this and to what extent depends on those products and their market. Practices such as teleworking may be appropriate for some businesses but not for others. Business benefits can be personalized in the context of financial impacts as well as competitiveness against their peers, which is the focus of SNG’s Small Business Growth Program and DEi Scorecards.


Ways to pay for a Digital Transformation Program

All of these needs as seen by some are opportunities for others to see a similar value from their own perspectives. Creating awareness and improving digital maturity is essentially an educational process that leads to greater utilization, value, and impacts. This is an ongoing effort that requires resources and funding at a local level. Some potential sources of funding include:

Annual and operational budgets

  • Franchise fees (4-7% of provider’s revenues) invested into a Digital Transformation Program, rather than deposited to municipality’s general funds
  • Marketing budget from provider
  • Economic development budget

State and Federal grants

  • Seed funding to prepare and launch Digital Transformation Programming

The payback for such investment in utilization is enhanced community vitality and economic growth, leading to greater retention and attraction of residents and businesses and strengthening of the tax base and municipal revenues.


Learn more about how to drive utilization for economic growth

Digital Transformation Program

Help your local businesses, households, and organizations have the broadband they need and the capabilities to use it.

Learn how SNG’s Digital Transformation Program can develop a plan that converts market potential into broadband demand and economic growth.

Small Business Growth Program

Help businesses grow through understanding how online practices create income and competitiveness.

Learn more about SNG’s Small Business Growth Program and how you can help your business community be even more successful.