In a move that they hope will support the move toward “digital maturity” in Irish businesses, Enterprise Ireland has announced a €9000 grant, called the Digitalisation Voucher, to Irish retailers that undertake review and strategy sessions to assess and improve their current digital experience.
It’s no secret that an essential factor in growing a business, especially internationally, is creating a solid online experience for customers. Put bluntly, businesses with better websites and digital strategies grow faster and sell more. Companies who do not prioritise their digital assets suffer from stagnant sales and poor revenue performance.
Enterprise Ireland is hoping to change that trajectory for qualifying Irish businesses. The Digitalisation Voucher will be awarded to organisations that enlist approved third-party experts (including Ireland Website Design!) to assess their current website and digital strategy, culminating in an actionable plan for their improvement.
Which companies are eligible?
These plans will point out how businesses can be better using digital tools to make any area of their process or customer experience more efficient and effective. For some companies, this could mean a shift towards robotics and other forms of automation in their manufacturing process.
But for others, the Digitalisation Voucher could allow them to understand their data from website traffic and other digital sources and use that to help improve their customer experience, such as in building more effective eCommerce websites that usher customers towards a simple, straightforward checkout process. Any recommendations made will keep cyber security top-of-mind.
To qualify, businesses need to:
- Be a member of Enterprise Ireland with ten or more employees.
- Be a non-member business with ten or more employees that operates in the manufacturing or internationally-traded service sectors (details here).
So, what costs are covered?
The point of the Digitalisation Voucher is to help businesses see where their website, digital strategy, and other digital assets are antiquated or inefficient and create a plan to improve them.
The Enterprise Ireland scheme will cover up to €9000 in associated costs, with a daily limit of €900 (excluding VAT) from approved third-party vendors who would conduct the review and strategy. Work would ideally be completed within 6 to 12 weeks of starting the digital review process, but businesses can complete the work anytime within six months of its start date.
At the end of the process, businesses should have undertaken (and be prepared to submit for review) one of the following activities:
Internal Process Optimisation (Lean-Digital-Automation)
This is a review of the business’s current operational processes and systems to identify areas that could be improved. The review should focus on eliminating waste by using faster techniques and automation and/or cloud-based digital systems.
Enhancing Customer Digital Experience (Product, Service, Route to Market, Channels)
In this activity, businesses would review their current products, services & channels and identify places to integrate them into an exceptional digital experience for their customers.
Becoming a Data-Driven Business
Here, organisations would review the key performance data they currently use to drive their business decisions and identify where they could be using it better. This activity would allow them to improve the customer experience by aggregating their data across all areas of the business.
And, what isn’t covered in the grant?
The Digitalisation Voucher will fund review and strategy activities, not implementation ones. So, examples of endeavours which wouldn’t be covered are:
- Project implementation costs
- Cyber Security Pen Test
- Marketing campaign
- Web development and/or build
- Online advertising implementation
- The purchase of off-the-shelf software packages, licences, or subscriptions
- The purchase of hardware
- Photography, banner ads, and graphic development
While some of these activities will almost certainly be recommended by the third-party vendors that conduct the Digitalisation Voucher assessments, the cost of carrying them out is not covered by the scheme.
Sounds great – where do I register?
There’s a complete list of the registration requirements on Enterprise Ireland’s website here.
It’s important to know that only one voucher will be approved per company, and reimbursements will be for costs incurred only after Enterprise Ireland has approved your application. So don’t get started reaching your digital maturity just yet – get approval from Enterprise Ireland before any works commence.
And if you’re interested in using the Digitalisation Voucher to improve your online presence, look no further than Ireland Website Design! We’re proud to be approved as a vendor for this scheme and excited to help Irish businesses reach their full digital potential. Call (051-393524) or contact us today to learn more.