Just over half the UK business owners polled say they are fully using technology to their business advantage, according to survey

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9th January 2020 16:20 - Information Technology

Just over half the UK business owners polled say they are fully using technology to their business advantage: A survey asking businesses about the extent to which they use technology to their advantage has found just slightly more than half (53%) believe they do. 

The research by software consultancy ThoughtWorks polled 1,026 nationally represented business owners about the ways they 'fully used' technology to achieve growth and put them at a competitive advantage. 

Almost half (47%) felt that their company was not fully up to speed when it comes to its use of technology, although four in ten (41%) said they were making moves to improve their company's technological capabilities. Around one in twenty firms polled (6%) said that their company's sub-par technology usage was stagnating its growth. 

Breaking it down by sector, more than three-quarters of those working in media and tech said they are 'fully using their technology advantage', followed by 59% of financial services businesses and 54% of health companies. Almost half of the respondents polled in manufacturing said they are confident they are using technology to their best advantage (47%) while construction (43%), education (40%) and retail (35%) were less confident. 

The study also found that tech-driven businesses were more likely to see Brexit as an opportunity for growth. Almost half of these companies (47%) said they felt Brexit offered new opportunities to target more markets with almost a fifth (19%) confident in their ability to increase their market share in existing markets. 

Companies which felt that their lack of technological capability was holding them back were more likely to see Brexit as an issue that would result in their plans being paused (16%) revealed the poll, or would force them to downsize their operations and withdraw from some key markets (10%). However, 42% believed that little would change post Brexit and they don’t expect to be affected. 

Digital Transformation Principal at ThoughtWorks, Luke Vinogradov, commented: "Surrounded by change and uncertainty, organisations are realising they may not be taking full advantage of technology. Some have yet to start, others have focussed narrowly on digital customer experience, because it’s very visible and actually it’s a great first step. However, modern digital businesses already at the top of their game know that the kind of capabilities that have driven their success don’t stop there."

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