A research report commissioned by Colt Technology Services has identified a tech deficit, which affects almost three quarters (72%) of European businesses. This tech deficit leads to a gap between what businesses need to achieve and what their infrastructure can support. When compared with their European counterparts, UK companies are amongst the most prepared with 64% citing they face a moderate or significant tech deficit. According to the research findings, the best prepared country is Spain, with 62% of companies facing a tech deficit, compared with 81% of German companies.
The majority of European organisations highlight that their infrastructure foundations need to evolve over the next two years to meet future business needs – including voice and communications (88%), data centre infrastructure (90%) and network infrastructure (85%).
Organisations are under constant pressure to balance the needs of their customer against the commercial realities of running a successful business. UK companies cite the need to deliver high levels of customer satisfaction (60%) whilst at the same time delivering profitability (65%) and revenue (56%) to the business as the top three measurements of business performance and success. These crucial business areas will suffer significantly if the tech deficit is not addressed.
Further UK data highlights from The Tech Deficit research include:
A third (34%) think their current infrastructure is future ready and scalable to support the peaks, troughs and complexity of demand over the next two years, compared to one in four in Europe (26%),
Half (50%) state they are not currently ready, but have a strategy in place to address this, in line with the European average (51%),
14% of organisations say they have no strategy in place, whereas the European average is one in five (20%),
Half of European organisations (50%) believe they have only a year before they will be unable to manage and mitigate risk for the business. The UK is the least affected country, with 39% of businesses expecting to fall short on this area, compared with 56% in Switzerland.
“The digital economy is affecting organisations across all industries, creating a need for companies to rethink how they serve customers. For example, Agilisys* has worked closely together with Colt to provide VDI to a London borough council, enabling the council to reduce costs, increase overall productivity and help it improve the way its team provides services to residents. Infrastructure plays a vital role in fuelling growth and innovation and the Tech Deficit research highlights the need for organisations to change the way they view, manage and buy infrastructure. Many industries are going through a period of transformation, often driven by technology or regulatory changes, and those able to create new business approaches and reinvent themselves will succeed," David Abensour, CTO of Blenheim Chalcot (*Agilisys is a Bleinheim Chalcot company).
The research indicates that simplification and automation is the preferred route for infrastructure evolution, with 60% of European respondents looking for increased simplicity in their infrastructure. The use of a service based model is expected to become increasingly important in the next two years, with Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Software-as-as-Service, and data centre colocation expected to grow by 52%, 55% and 33% respectively. The research also points to a move towards more consolidation of suppliers and strategic partners, with 63% of respondents stating they see benefit in a single supplier model that provides a range of different IT service and infrastructure options.
Mark Leonard, Executive Vice President of Technology Services at Colt: “In the digital economy, fundamental business strategies such as breaking into new markets, meeting customer requirements and increasing profitability are governed by the deployment of efficient and adaptable technology. The data shows that the tech deficit is an issue across Europe and impacts businesses of all sizes. The digital economy paradigm means businesses need to embrace new technologies and tools to fuel new business models and approaches – ranging from analytics to user driven apps and wearable technology. Failing to address the tech deficit will have visible consequences. Crucially, organisations will feel the impact of this deficit within the next 12 months. The impact will be costly and damaging especially for those that are least prepared.”
Based on the research findings, Colt has identified three key trends for European businesses:
Service based delivery will help change how businesses think about owning infrastructure, moving away from buying technology and embracing a service based model.
Flexibility will drive business models and commercial arrangements. Businesses will seek out suppliers that enable them to manage change.
Simplification of processes will empower the IT department: moving to the cloud, consolidating suppliers and identifying strategic partners.
Leonard concludes: “IT decision makers face an increasingly complex infrastructure environment as well as the requirement to drive innovation to support digital business models. Different decisions will be needed about the infrastructure foundations, what and how to buy as well as ensuring support for business needs both now and in the future. These will involve introducing simplicity and flexibility into business models in order to successfully evolve from technology ownership towards more efficient methods of delivering services to customers who require a more flexible approach to their changing demands.”
Colt is the information delivery platform, enabling its customers to deliver, share, process and store their vital business information. An established leader in delivering integrated network, data centre, voice and IT services to major organisations, midsized businesses and wholesale customers worldwide; Colt operates in 22 European countries with a 46,000km European network and transatlantic network capacity. Colt has metropolitan area networks in 42 major European cities with direct fibre connections into 19,800 buildings and 20 carrier neutral Colt data centres.
In addition to its direct sales capability, Colt has four indirect channels to market: Agent, Franchise, Distributor and Wholesale which includes Carriers, Service Providers, VARs and Voice Resellers.
Colt is listed on the London Stock Exchange (COLT).