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Accenture: UK business investment in new tech 'to jump in next 5 years'

Nov 07
Tags: Accenture
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Accenture: UK business investment in new tech 'to jump in next 5...

The amount UK businesses are investing in cutting-edge technologies like quantum computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain will increase significantly in the next five years.

That's according to the Tech Tracker survey from Accenture and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), which was based on the views of 160 businesses representing various sectors.

Key findings showed that the proportion of firms looking to invest in quantum computing is set to almost triple, from 11 per cent today to 32 per cent in five years. This area of innovation, while still in its infancy, could offer the potential to greatly speed up complex calculations.

One in three respondents (32 per cent) said they were about to start investing in AI, while the proportion committing to blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies is expected to more than double, from 16 per cent to 35 per cent.

As far as barriers to growth and experimentation are concerned, half (51 per cent) of businesses said they were worried about the political environment in the UK hindering innovation and undermining investment decisions.

Two out of five respondents (41 per cent) were positive about the regulatory environment that supports technology investment.

Discussing the most exciting tech trends for businesses, Felicity Burch, director of digital and innovation at the CBI, said AI, blockchain and quantum computing can unlock benefits ranging from stronger customer experience to lower costs, but also "open up new frontiers of innovation".

"As we move from research to reality, investment in quantum computing is set to leap threefold, and could make possible experiments that are currently too costly and impractical," she added.

Zahra Bahrololoumi, senior managing director and lead for Accenture Technology UK and Ireland, had some words of advice for businesses looking to make the most of cutting edge tech tools and solutions.

"Greater investment doesn't always equate to greater success," she said. "Tech adoption for tech's sake often yields limited results or value. To make the most of their investment, businesses need to leverage technology, talent, and be aligned with business objectives and outcomes."

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