Call for British businesses to boost technology adoption - faster

Published 26/03/2019 by Dean McGlone, V1

With over 1,200 British businesses attending Advanced World this week – the annual conference from one of our key partner’s – the over-riding a call to action was about boosting and adapting to technology adoption – faster. The keynote speakers – from Gordon Wilson, CEO of Advanced, Mark Staniland, MD at Hays, through to Carolyn Fairburn, Director General at the CBI – were very focused on maximising the opportunity that today’s unprecedented change can deliver. With new technology trends around AI, machine learning (ML) and RPA driving the pace of change faster than ever, there was a recognition that for some, this also indicated a level of fear about what this change would bring. We predicted back at the beginning of the year that despite all the concerns over Brexit, one of the positive outcomes is a drive to invest in technology – it was certainly a key theme of the event.

Carolyn Fairbairn called for British businesses to be faster at adopting new technology – and not just the innovations, but also the basics. She positioned it as a key route for helping business leaders best steer their organisations in the future during these uncertain times.

And Mark Staniland talked about ‘reverse mentoring’ – essentially requiring a change in tactics to meet growing digital demands by maximising inter-generational working as well as learning from the younger generations entering work – tech savvy employees driving more change in the workplace.

As we reported last week, one of the key trends driving innovation is RPA – robotic process automation. Earlier this month, Computer Weekly reported on recent research by Everett Group – see more here.  The report claims that business spending on RPA will increase by 20-30% as a result of the increased administrative burden expected after the UK leaves the EU.

“Systems supporting procurement and supply chain management, as well as finance and human resources, will be affected, with organisations turning to RPA and other automation technologies to respond quickly to Brexit changes,” according to Sarah Burnett, research vice-president at Everest Group.

We’ve been strong advocates for the rapid adoption of RPA with businesses. However, the big worry is that many organisations are putting investment plans on hold as they remain distracted by Brexit.  Whilst the technology industry continues to transform at a faster pace than ever, those businesses that are failing to accelerate their digital journey are at great risk for falling behind. Technology such as the Cloud and RPA are helping such digital-centric businesses be agile and flexible. It frees them up to focus on their core business, as well as minimise cost and leverage economies of scale, improve end-user experience, and reduce operational risk.

The V1 team was at Advanced World, which took place at the ICC in Birmingham on Monday 18 March, sharing its insights about the latest technology trends in the areas of RPA including invoice automation and looking at the impact of GDPR on companies document management plans too.  

As the Brexit negotiations – or some might say shenanigans – continue, we will continue to urge businesses up and down the country to move with pace to embrace the latest technologies, and ensure they are best prepared for whatever outcome may result.