Lack of digital solutions is holding back the UK economy
The poor adoption of digital technologies across the UK is holding back economic growth, a recent research report by the CBI and IBM has been able to find.
The paper, “Embracing Digital in Every Sector”, suggests that over half (55%) of “pioneer” firms are adopting digital technologies and processes, while the other half (45%) are falling behind.
Despite the UK taking top place globally for e-commerce and fifth place for the availability of technology, it ranks only fourteenth in the world for company-level adoption of digital technology, with many companies struggling to digitise their businesses at the rate of peers in other countries.
A mix of connectivity challenges and security concerns as listed as barriers to digital adoption, but predominantly, firms are hindered by a lack of appropriate skills inside their business (42% of firms) and an unclear return on investment (33%). Nearly all firms believe that digital technology has the ability to revolutionise the business landscape, driving productivity (94%), growth and job creation, and almost three quarters (73%) see improved customer satisfaction and experience as its biggest benefit.
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said:
“Businesses globally are in the throes of an extraordinary digital revolution that is transforming productivity and creating a new generation of winning companies. But in the UK, too many firms are being left behind. While pioneering firms are seizing digital opportunities, nearly half are struggling – a growing digital divide that is threatening UK competitiveness.
“It’s vital that businesses in all sectors – from manufacturing to retail – truly understand digital technology’s potential, from the boardroom to the shop or factory floor. Giving digital a human face by appointing a Chief Technology Officer will help businesses build the long-term digital strategies that will be critical to their futures.
“And by harnessing the expertise of the generation at the heart of the digital revolution, firms will be better able to make the right investments for their digital future.”
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