|23 November 2015|

The digital revolution is a great opportunity for Scottish businesses of all sizes, according to a new report.

Key to success though is understanding, and that is what a new study is championing by calling on Scottish firms to use technology to unlock markets, develop products, improve efficiency and build customer relationships.

Produced by Dr Jim Hamill, business fellow at the University of Strathclyde’s Business School, the paper argues that all business sectors are likely to change dramatically as the use of a range of interlinked emerging technologies becomes more widespread.

Digital Disruption and Small Business in Scotland examines international evidence and local data, and argues that many Scottish firms could be swept away by the forthcoming wave of change.

Dr Hamill said: “No matter if you’re a start-up with global ambitions, or a family firm embedded in the heart of a community – technology needs to be at the heart of your operations.

A range of converging technologies mean that no industry or business is immune from new competition. But conversely, the digital revolution means that nimble and determined Scottish firms can unlock opportunities and tap new markets.”

An international study highlighted in the research suggests that four in 10 of the largest firms, across a broad spectrum of industries, will be displaced in the next five years as a consequence of digital disruption.

New business models enabled by new technology also have significant implications for policymakers in Scotland, the publication argues. For example, regulatory and taxation systems may have to change to ensure that new entrants play by similar rules to traditional operators. International controversy in this area has focussed on firms like Uber and AirBnB.