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Businesses falling behind on digital technology adoption

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A ‘digital divide’ is opening up between the 55% of businesses that are adopting digital technologies and the 45% who are falling behind, according to research by Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and IBM.

Firms cited connectivity challenges and security concerns as barriers to adopting digital technologies in the workplace. 42% reported a lack of appropriate skills inside their business, while 33% were unclear on how they could make a return from digital investment.

Research also found:

  • 94% of the companies surveyed believe digital technology can improve business landscape, drive productivity, growth and job creation
  • 73% believe it can improve customer satisfaction and experience
  • 28% of “pioneer” firms have already invested in advance technologies over the past year
  • only 9% have adopted digital strategy, with 16% planning to do so in the next year.

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director general, said: 

“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.”

David Stokes, chief executive of IBM UK and Ireland, added:

“Digital offers not only the opportunity for much needed productivity gains alongside a new canvas upon which organisations can innovate to drive new levels of growth.”

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