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UK businesses still getting to grips with new tech 18 months later, new research finds

A new independent survey among over 650 UK business leaders has found:

  • 38% said their organisation is held back by a reliance on outdated practices or processes
    • Decision-makers aged under 35 (48%) were more likely to hold this view than those over 55 (16%)
  • Two in five (39%) said a greater reliance on digital communication during Covid-19 has lowered the quality of their customer service
  • More than half (55%) of under 35’s said their organisation uses too many different communication channels, which impedes productivity.

As organisations reflect on more than 18 months of COVID-19, new research from reveals that many have struggled with their digital transformation efforts.

The AI-powered corporate learning platform commissioned an independent survey among 4,000 UK adults, of which 666 are decision-makers within UK businesses. Over a third (38%) said their business is still held back by a reliance on outdated practices or processes, despite the transformations brought about by the pandemic.

Ineffective internal communication is a key problem: 38% of business leaders admitted that their organisation now uses too many varying channels for regular collaboration, which is interrupting productivity. Decision-makers under the age of 35 were much more likely to hold this view (48%) than those over 55 (16%).

Two in five (39%) said that the quality of their customer service declined over the past 18 months as a result of relying more heavily on digital communication. A third (36%) enlisted the support of online chatbots during this time to help them handle customer enquiries while physical interactions were restricted.

Similar numbers (35%) agreed that the quality of their core product or service worsened since relying more heavily on technology to do their work during the pandemic.

However, business leaders are split about their future plans. Just over half (57%) of respondents said that digital-first communication will not replace in-person interactions within their organisation in the long-term, with 43% conversely saying that digital-first is now the default.

Nikolas Kairinos, CEO and founder of, said: “The concept of digital transformation has become even more of a buzzword during the pandemic, with businesses everywhere considering the switch to digital-first ways of operating. Clearly, not every organisation has had a smooth journey.

“Now 18 months into the pandemic, many business leaders fear they are falling behind when it comes to the use of technology; in some instances, the new tools adopted due to Covid-19 have had a negative impact. Those struggling should take comfort in the fact that genuinely transformative digital transformation takes time.

“I would encourage business leaders to think carefully about the technologies they are investing in, and how these are being used. As the old saying goes, sometimes “less is more”. So, whether it is by condensing the number of communication platforms used, or investing in fewer (but more advanced) technologies, narrowing down tech requirements and creating a well-thought-out digital investment plan will give businesses a leg up on their digital transformation journeys.”

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