8 December 2021

2021 in Review: Digital Transformation

Written by Ivan Sedgwick

The market for digital transformation is large, growing, and creating opportunities for smaller companies across many industries. Firms like Martin Sorrell’s S4 have demonstrated it is possible to make a big impact relatively quickly by being agile and digitally native. If anything, the pandemic has accelerated take-up of digital tools and forced companies and government departments to rethink how they work. There are huge opportunities to upgrade logistics and other services. On the other hand, the digital world creates vulnerabilities: cybercrime is a boom industry and is being tackled by a large number of companies, many quite small.

This is essentially a know-how industry, and one where there is a premium paid for repeat revenues - Software as a Service (SaaS) remains the buzz-phrase. It is not always easy to assess how much know-how companies have, and they sometimes underestimate the difficulty of getting their services to market. We continue to look for management teams who have the combination of service offering and marketing nous to deliver for investors.

We met TPXImpact (TPX) when they came to the market as The Panoply in 2018. Since then they have delivered and continue to deliver on their initial intention of acquiring businesses in the digital transformation industry, and now have a significant offering across public and private services in the UK. Cybersecurity has remained off the menu - so far. They have since got onto the government’s procurement platform and are undercutting the major consultants for large contracts. The business is now rationalising branding and preparing for its next growth phase.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) was originally presented as a commercialiser of university IP in the cyber security sphere, with the backing of IP Group. It has morphed into a more conventional business, with a particular specialisation in supply chain management, and is now starting to use its shares as currency to act as one of the consolidators in a fragmented segment of the industry.  

We will continue to look for new opportunities in the digital transformation space in the new year.

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