Businesses struggling with digital transformation adoption are causing the UK to lose its leading global technology position. Research from the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) and IBM says that while the UK is the leading country for e-commerce and fifth for overall availability of technology, it ranks just fourteenth for introducing digital technology at a company level.
Aside from connectivity and security challenges, the crucial barriers to digital transformation adoption are a skills shortage, cited by 42% of businesses questioned, and an uncertain return on investment (33%).
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director-general, says that overcoming these challenges to ensure the UK retains its position of strength is about leadership and finding people with the correct skills and mindset.
“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.”
As well as retaining its pre-eminent global reputation for leading in technology, mastering digital transformation has been identified as crucial for fixing many of the challenges that businesses face. According to the research, 94% of business leaders believe that digital transformation can make processes and staff more efficient while almost three-quarters say that customer satisfaction and experience can dramatically improve.