With ONS data suggesting that the UK is on average one day a week less productive than France, Germany and the US, technology could be greatest enabler of boosting productivity within UK businesses.
Embrace new tech
While some industry commentators have been quick to brand new technologies as nothing more than ‘fads’, developments in the areas of AI, robotics, machine learning and blockchain are already achieving tangible outcomes for businesses in terms of productivity.
A recent study from Cognizant found that European businesses have experienced a 5 per cent increase in revenues in the last year alone from using new digital technologies, with this percentage expected to reach 8.4 per cent by next year.
Rather than being afraid to disrupt existing business models, companies should take the leap and embrace new technologies now, or find themselves lagging behind their competitors in years to come.
Lend a helping hand; invest and support
Interestingly, 30 per cent of European businesses say that they don’t think their leadership is currently doing enough to invest in new technologies, despite the proven benefits.
There are plenty of avenues that businesses can go down to support the work being done by SMEs at the grass-roots level in the UK. By working with technology funding companies, businesses can play their part in funding entrepreneurial ventures that are injecting new technology into some of the most exciting areas of the economy, including robotics, neurology, machine learning and AI. Last year, BGF provided £387m in funding to UK SMEs alone.
Alongside further funding, we also need greater advocacy from the UK Government for collaboration between established players and entrants. This should open up the all-important access to resources for SMEs, to support them as they innovate.
Collaborate for change
Despite a proven track record for spotting new technologies, Britain falls short in its ability to turn these discoveries into strong, well-backed businesses that last.
We need to create a functioning, commercially sustainable and well-capitalised system that can confidently deliver a more innovative and competitive future for the UK.
Businesses should increasingly seek to partner with technology experts who can assist them in not only getting the best from their current resources, but in introducing new ways of working, enabling them to improve processes, and crucially, work smarter.
Last summer, Kx partnered with life sciences centre The Earlham Institute to study crop growth patterns, developing a completely new approach to analytical processing in bioscience. Continuing these types of projects and collaborating to bring about change will be crucial in helping the UK to remain globally competitive in the realm of productivity.
About the author
Shannon Jones is business development executive at Kx Technology Fund. Kx aims to provide its customers with the fastest, most efficient, and most flexible tools for processing real-time and historical data.