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By Dave Gerrish, Strategic Lead – Digital, ukactive

There is immense pressure within the leisure sector at many levels to build both operational resilience within your business while ensuring there is not a decrease in overall customer satisfaction as experiences fall short of rising expectations. One such way is to continue your digital journey to understand how digital can continue to improve efficiency and decision making.

The mere notion of setting out on a digital transformation journey can conjure up thoughts of high cost and lengthy design and implementation. Although this can be true, laying the right foundations can prove that success is both within reach and resource if you take a stepped approach.

The success of digital transformation is not the responsibility of any one person or one department, it requires all components of the business to work together and needs to be driven by the CEO and all board members for it to be successful. When embarking on your digital journey, you must have a true reference point to build towards your North Star.

Digital change doesn’t have to mean a complete transformation, and in many cases, this wouldn’t be appropriate. Many fitness and leisure operators have assessed where they could have the biggest consumer experience impact and focused on that one optimisation. However, to ensure these optimisations are successful you must remember what overall digital transformation is, as it will require the same approach.

Harvard Business Review  cited that digital transformation is not just about implementing new technologies. It’s the combination of the right technologies (through knowledge of your consumers, staff and those organisations you partner with or provide services to you) and drawing insights from data to put the right process and culture in place. In essence, digital transformation is all about driving value for your business through a data-centric approach across multiple departments.

McKinsey’s latest Digital Sentiment Survey brings a strong message: “While IT investment has surged the past two years to enable growth in digital adoption, these investments were not fully directed at the areas consumers themselves value most today.”

Participation in ukactive’s digital consultation provides a benchmark of your digital maturity and effectiveness against the sector year-on-year. Your score is broken down across multiple areas of digital such as your organisational model, performance and impact, data and insight, digital experiences and accessibility, inclusion and satisfaction. In addition, you will receive personalised recommendations and resources based on your score.

By completing the consultation, operators will also be helping to drive digital change in the sector as a whole, and shape how suppliers can support the sector better. In addition, some operators will be invited for a more in-depth consultation in 2022, as part of the programme.

The sector-wide findings of the consultation will be summarised in a report to be published later this year, helping to track the sector’s progress year-on-year. The work forms part of a programme of activity designed to support operators through the latest benchmarking tools, providing new insights and guidance to modernise and grow.


Download ukactive’s new paper to see how other operators have used this approach to help build the foundations for their own digital transformation journey.