The impact of technology in the world of business cannot be understated. According to an Economist survey of business leaders in the US and Western Europe, 45% of British executives see technology trends as the biggest factor shaping their future. Couple that with the news that Japan’s Softbank is buying UK tech firm ARM Holdings for a staggering £24 billion, this statistic mirrors a growing perception that the UK is leading the charge when it comes to the digital revolution.
With technology shaping the future more than market and economic trends, it comes as somewhat of a surprise that UK executives are not as confident in using technology as their European counterparts. In the same survey, only 62% of the execs polled consider their department’s ability to use technology as ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ strong, compared with 78% of German executives. Modesty perhaps or British self-deprecation?
According to the survey, data analytics is the technology trend to have the biggest impact in the next two years, according to 45% of UK business leaders. Aston Martin, for example, uses data analytics to guide bigger, strategic decisions so when it came to its motor sport division, the data revealed that people want more about the experience and lifestyle aspect of the sport.
Global currency exchange company Travelex uses internal HR analytics to change its human resource function and give greater control of the technology it uses. However, to avoid getting lost in analytics, Travelex do have specific outcomes such as retention or driving down employee attrition.
Cloud computing is another impactful trend with Aston Martin using it to transform the business’s approach to marketing. When the company launched the striking new DB11, the marketing campaign was enabled principally via cloud-based marketing systems giving greater access to customer data.
So where does the technological future lie for car companies such as Aston Martin? Its CEO Andy Palmer suggests that in 5-7 years’ time they will be able to tell how their cars are being used, where they are being used and for what for, due to network connected sensors embedded into the vehicles. Of course this does enter us into the world of how data privacy comes into play.
The UK tech sector has come a long way since the time of the Bletchley Park codebreakers and Turing’s pioneering enigma machine, but there is plenty of evidence that UK companies are using technology trends to their advantage.