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KPMG survey shows growing tech impact on UK business

Oct 04
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KPMG survey shows growing tech impact on UK...

It will come as no surprise to management consultants today that the rapid evolution of technology is having an increasingly significant impact on how businesses function.

The extent to which tech and digital transformation is affecting UK companies has been highlighted in a new report from KPMG and Harvey Nash, which was based on survey responses from more than 900 senior technology leaders.

Tech-driven transformation

More than half (54 per cent) of chief information officers (CIOs) said they are benefiting from increases to their budget, up from 49 per cent last year, which suggests a growing convergence between business and digital strategies.

Technology leaders are already gaining more strategic influence within their organisations and could have more potential to make an impact in the near future, with 42 per cent of companies set to fundamentally change their product offering or business model in the next three years.

As far as specific areas of innovation are concerned, the vast majority of respondents (90 per cent) said artificial intelligence and automation are likely to replace at least one in five jobs within five years.

Encouragingly, two-thirds (67 per cent) of CIOs felt the number of jobs created by tech development will compensate for those lost.

Cloud is another area where the UK is leading the way, with the findings showing that more than half of the country's IT organisations have pursued significant cloud transformations. The UK is seven percentage points ahead of the global average in large-scale cloud adoption (51 per cent to 44 per cent).

Furthermore, nine out of ten CIOs said they feel more confident about stepping up their cloud adoption today than at any time in the last three years.

Moving business operations to the cloud raises potential security risks such as mass data migration, exposure to public networks and misconfigured infrastructure, but most respondents were fairly confident in their level of protection. Only nine per cent said they were exposed to cyber attacks "in multiple areas".

Discussing the research, Lisa Heneghan, chief digital officer at KPMG UK, said: "In today's digital age, there are very few strategic business improvements that can be made without underpinning technology change, therefore it is no surprise to see CIOs' budgets, responsibilities and impact rise.

"In turn this is driving greater integration of IT and business functions."

Room for improvement in gender diversity

One area where the tech sector has clear scope for progress in the coming years is gender diversity.

Six out of ten UK organisations taking part in the KPMG survey said less than 30 per cent of their tech team staff were female. The findings also showed slow progress in female representation at IT leadership level across the globe in recent years, with the 12 per cent figure recorded this year and in 2018 little changed from the 11 per cent recorded in 2015.

Ms Heneghan noted: "In addition to opportunities for digital transformation, there is clear room to improve the gender mix in IT roles and to do this [there is] a requirement for more effective diversity and inclusion initiatives in the industry."

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