More than half of large UK companies perceive robotics as crucial or highly important technology for digital transformation, new research suggests.
Commissioned by UST, a global digital transformation solutions company, the research surveyed 200 senior decision-makers at UK companies with an average turnover of £9bn across a range of industries on digital transformation.
Among the key findings, cloud computing (75%) is perceived as the most important technology for successful digital transformation, followed by artificial intelligence and machine learning (67%), augmented reality and Web 3.0 (58%) and robotics (54%).
However, 33% cited a lack of technical skills in-house and too many legacy IT systems in place as key factors delaying digital transformation efforts. Another key factor raised by nearly a third of respondents was concern amongst their workforce about automation taking away jobs (31%).
And while UK digital spending is projected to increase 5.2% year-over-year in 2023, UST said its findings show UK businesses are unable to take full advantage of technology advancements.
“Our research highlights the need for companies to continue investing in digital transformation efforts; this will help build resilience and reduce costs over the long term,” said Praveen Prabhakaran, chief delivery officer and UK managing director at UST.
“Investing in technology capabilities is also vital for improving sustainability, which is particularly important given the pressure many companies are under to meet net zero targets.”
Elsewhere in the survey, nearly half of respondents said the UK government should provide more incentives for businesses to invest in R&D (45%), support more STEM programmes in schools and higher education (44%) and support innovation hubs outside of current hotspots (40%). Meanwhile, some 40% of respondents (40%) said greater collaboration between public, private and educational sectors could help foster innovation.
Finally, 53% said they are partnering with schools and/or higher education to show what types of careers are available. And nearly half said they are advertising job vacancies in a wider range of places (49%), offering internships or summer placements (48%) and running apprenticeship programs (42%).
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