Business

Exclusive: 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' no longer applies as tech-daring UK companies are hungry for risk – City A.M.


Enthusiasm for experimenting with new technologies is growing fast across UK businesses, largely because many companies are increasingly prepared to take more risks.

Given the increased risk appetite and firms embracing tech, organisations are pumping more cash in new technological applications and platforms.

In fact, 77 per cent of businesses with headcounts over 250 said they plan to spend more heavily on technological applications and features next year

This is according to new data from digital agency Studio Graphene, which the agency shared exclusively with City A.M.

The Old Street based-firm found that 48 per cent of businesses with less than 50 employees said they would invest more next year.

“After a period of stagnation, where businesses focussed their efforts on ironing out teething issues relating to remote and hybrid working, it’s fantastic to see renewed enthusiasm for tech investment,” said Ritam Gandhi, founder and director of Studio Graphene.

Companies are clearly moving away from the mantra ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’

Ritam Gandhi of Studio Graphene

Gandhi told City A.M. this morning: “Companies are looking to explore how modern technologies can improve operations and better satisfy both employees and customers. Investing in previously unexplored solutions always carries risk, but it’s worth it if these products can elevate a business’ productivity, create new revenue streams, or better serve customers.”

One in two decision-makers said their business intends to invest in a new area of technology that it has not used before, such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, big data or cloud computing. 

Smaller businesses, however, are set to be more modest with their spending plans than their more established counterparts.

Culture of blue sky thinking

Elsewhere, steps are being taken to promote a culture of innovation.

Just shy of half (47 per cent) of business leaders said their company introduced new practices over the past 12 months to encourage employees to share and implement ideas in a hybrid setting. 

Day-to-day IT issues, however, are standing in the way of progress: 42 per cent of all businesses said that the amount of time and resource they spend on fixing basic tech issues is impeding real innovation. 

“2022 is going to be an exciting year for innovation. As businesses get more comfortable with technology that makes remote working possible, they can truly start transforming their business through more ambitious investments in quality solutions,” Gandhi said.

Banks and financial services

Companies are no the only ones looking at new technological applications.

Banking and financial services firms also plan to step up their tech investments in the coming 12 months to improve both front and back-end technology.

In fact, nearly three in four financial institutions has made improving the quality of their core technologies a priority, while 65 per cent of financial services players plan to pump more money in new technology and to diversify the kinds of tech they are currently using.

These findings are the result of a survey among 250 banking and financial services companies into their investment priorities for the next twelve months, carried out by London-based tech company Yobota and shared with City A.M. recently.

Three quarters (74 per cent) of banks and finance firms intend to improve customers’ digital experience by upgrading their website or app.

Meanwhile, 63 per cent plan to automate customer interactions through chatbots and robo-advisors. 



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