Organizations still limited by old tech and poor digital skills

remote home working
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

A new study commissioned by Virgin Media O2 Business has revealed over a fifth of firms are still hindered by a lack of digital skills or employee aversion to new technology.

According to the report, which polled more than 1,200 decision-makers from the public and commercial sectors in the UK, growing energy prices (24%) and inflation-related expenditures (23%) would be the biggest concerns in 2023, followed by the persistent scarcity of digital skills (15%) and hiring (10%).

Even though the firms polled were eager to use their current resources, 72% of respondents felt that their antiquated technology was hindering their capacity to work effectively.

Old tech hindering UK bounce-back

Decision-makers are compelled to strike a compromise between their objectives and the problems of 2023 since 36% of respondents rank growth as their top priority.

Over a third (32%) of decision-makers feel that outdated software or hardware (18%) or incompatibility between systems or apps (14%) are the largest obstacles to their productivity, indicating that digital transformation will continue to be high on their agendas this year.

Digital skills are a major barrier to accepting hybrid working; according to 18% of respondents, operational efficiency is being held back by employee opposition to technology or a lack of digital abilities. It may be the reason why 50% of executives think that fewer than half of their staff are fully utilizing unified communications and collaboration solutions like Teams and Zoom. 

Showing the value of investing in tech

While presenting a case for additional investments in technology and connectivity over the past six months, two-thirds (65%) of decision makers observed a need to demonstrate outcomes more quickly due to growing budgetary pressure.

The respondents who said that outdated technology is severely impeding their capacity to function efficiently (79%), reported feeling the most pressure to get return on investment rapidly. 

Decision-makers are relying on the knowledge of their IT teams and outside partners as they manage the cost issue. The overwhelming majority of respondents (78%) rely on their IT and telecommunications providers for advice on how to maximize the value of their outdated technology, which encourages businesses to place more faith in their alliance partners. 

Jo Bertram, Managing Director, Business and Wholesale at Virgin Media O2, said: “<...> Virgin Media O2 Business’ latest research reveals almost three quarters of business leaders say old technology is impacting their businesses’ ability to operate efficiently and holding back growth. With companies facing complex operational challenges and a tough macro-economic environment, the lessons learned from the pandemic should not be forgotten.” 

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.