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46% of UK businesses increase investment in automation post-lockdown

New research conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of emerging technology consultancy, Emergence Partners, has found that 46% of UK businesses have been driven to increase their investment in automation as a result of the recent lockdown.

The research, which surveyed 500 IT decision makers across the U.S., U.K., France and Germany, represents a clear signal from businesses globally that investment in automation is a huge priority, with two thirds (66%) of respondents increasing investment in the technology either significantly or slightly. U.S. businesses are leading the way in terms of investment (75%), with France (68%) and Germany (67%) in close pursuit and the UK tracking at a significantly lower level (46%).

While investment undoubtedly remains strong in the markets surveyed, IT decision makers highlighted several key issues hampering further adoption. A lack of in-house technology knowledge & skills (39%) was the chief concern, something that has been a long time issue, as demonstrated by a recent report from the Open University. However, also present was a feeling that businesses lack a strategic approach to technology buying (30%).

Other issues focused on difficulty navigating a ‘complex and commoditised automation ecosystem’ (29%) and lack of senior level buy-in, with almost one in four (24%) indicating they’re yet to get the seal of approval from those in charge. Further limiting factors came from the vendor landscape, with outdated vendor licensing models (21%) and a lack of consultancy/support from vendors (20%) cited as key concerns.

David Poole, CEO of Emergence Partners, said: “Technology adoption is truly a non-negotiable feature of the modern workplace, and as these results demonstrate it’s also a top priority for business. However, what is clear is businesses feel somewhat lost when looking to invest, whether that’s due to a lack of appropriate knowledge within their team or a sense of confusion when trying to navigate the vendor landscape.”

He continued: “Our whole business model is focused on helping companies address these issues. Whether by diagnosing potential opportunities on the horizon, developing a strategic roadmap for long-term success, or running tech immersion and executive education sessions, Emergence exists to help businesses navigate the new, disruptive world in which we find ourselves.”
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