Building back better means building back digitally

Sue de Wit, Head of Atos|Syntel UK&I

Sue is an ICT Outsourcing professional with extensive experience of Account Management, Customer Relationship Management, Strategic Customer Satisfaction Management, Service Management, Project and Programme management, P&L management, contract re-negotiation, People management, Change management and business process improvement within the public and private sector.

As the Prime Minister has recently set out, our national goal right now should be ‘not just to come through this crisis, but to come back stronger, and build back better’. And there are signs in the business response to the turmoil of the past six months that our economy is well placed to do exactly that. A recent survey by the LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance and the CBI found that 75% of respondents had moved to remote working; more than 60 per cent of firms had adopted new technologies or management practices; and around a third had invested in new digital capabilities. Over 90% said that they expect to keep these changes in place once the crisis is over. These survey results make it very clear that the future is digital.

We need to build back digital

If we are to build back better, we need to build back digitally. One of our central challenges is to ensure that digital adoption becomes widespread throughout the UK so that all businesses can benefit from the productivity gains it can bring. At an Atos fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference, Business and Industry Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, pointed out that ‘businesses could make quite significant gains in productivity quite quickly’ by adopting digital technology.

£34bn-a-year of productivity growth by 2030

This is borne out by Atos’s own Unleashing Great British Enterprise research which has put a price on the size of the prize. Our research suggests that the national economy would benefit to the tune of £34bn a year by 2030 if the local economies of towns and cities were to realise the full potential of digital technology over the next decade.

Build Back Digital Taskforce

Achieving this means having the right roadmap in place. We need to find a way to industrialise the digital revolution. The Minister pointed out that UK businesses generally have quite a low digital adoption rate despite the many government initiatives in place to help accelerate their digital journeys. As Nadhim said himself ‘we need to bring some of this thinking together’. That’s why we are calling for the establishment of a ‘Build Back Digital Taskforce’ bringing together industry leaders in the sector to support government in driving the policy change that will deliver for the digital economy, both now and in the future.

Enterprise for Britain Platform

It would have at its heart the mission to produce bold and innovative digital solutions that can make a real difference to economic growth. In that spirit, Atos is calling for the creation of an Enterprise for Britain Platform, which we see as key tool for unleashing the potential of Britain’s entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs. The Platform would aggregate and personalise information, advice and guidance for businesses. It would be a one-stop-digital-shop for financing options, mentoring schemes, training opportunities and any other information that can help British entrepreneurs thrive. Not a hand-out but a help-out, getting the economy motoring and helping people move forwards so we can build back digitally.

Related Resources

Productivity – Digital Society

Renewing Great British Enterprise

Digital Society

Exploring the role of technology in a changing world

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Kulveer Ranger

SVP, Head of Strategy, Marketing, Comms & Public Affairs, Northern Europe & APAC

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Sue de Wit

Senior Vice President Atos|Syntel UK&I and Chief of Staff Atos UK&I

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