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Supporting UK exports with a digital role

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International trade is a fundamental driver of economic growth generating wealth, creating jobs and increasing consumer choice and value for money. As the UK has initiated proceedings towards an EU exit, UK exporters are now preparing for the inevitable changes as we adjust how we trade with Europe.

As the scale of exporting grows, digital and IT support to equip organisations with the tools to streamline their exporting processes will need to expand. Keeping up with developments in technology will continue to unleash more ways companies can source trading rates for example, or digitize ways to complete customs forms and engage with international traders.

UK Export Finance, the UK’s export credit agency is driving digital change within the organisation as it recruits for a Director of IT. The role, reporting into Bhaskar Dasgupta, Chief Operating Officer will support ambitious plans to dramatically increase the scale of support provided, and ensuring UKEF’s use of technology and its digital capability will be critical to deliver this task.

UKEF can give overseas buyers attractive long-term financing that makes UK exporters’ offering more competitive by allowing buyers to spread the capital costs.

There are a number of trends to be aware of in terms of how IT is already playing a role to support UK exporters. Technology in tracking is developing rapidly, speeding up customs processes and mitigating risks when sending high value goods. Data and insights are playing a huge role in helping companies see where their products are performing best, what market outlooks are like and what customer’s habits are.

With this in mind, what are the three skills needed for a digital role in exporting?

Leadership

The UK is changing the way it conducts international business, and communicating change across digital platforms is essential. Working within export, staying at the forefront of digital advances is important to gain competitive advantage as organisations market their products and services for overseas consumers. UK Export Finance’s Director of IT for example will be expected to provide leadership on how the organisation can further support the need of exporters through technology.

Strategy

Building a strategic view into your digital role allows you to develop a roadmap of where you want to be, what you want to achieve and how you are going to do this. For exporters, this is considering how you engage with customers across the globe, and how your digital strategy can help do this more effectively. Often companies who are measured in their digital strategy, innovation and execution are often more successful, in addition to having senior leadership buy in on the importance IT and digital technology plays. Having a successful strategy will also improve the quantifiable results you can demonstrate.

Influence

Using your knowledge and acumen to communicate best IT practice for exporters is how they will determine if they will implement your suggestions. Effective direction and training will lead to businesses becoming more skilled and adaptable to measure their outcomes from digital investments, turn data into insights and be proactive in pressing issues such as cyber security.

For more information on the role contact Andrew Timlin, Director at Hays

To find out more, or to discuss your recruitment needs, please contact your local consultant.

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