Brexit ambiguity hinders digital drive in UK

How are businesses are balancing infrastructure and applications today and beyond? A study from Pure Storage seeks to answer this question.

The independent survey of IT leaders in more than 500 UK businesses showed that data is considered so important to businesses that 70% think it should be shown as an asset on the company balance sheet. More striking is that 65% think that data is more valuable to their business than the people they employ.

>See also: The government’s post-Brexit digital strategy

Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning have changed the way businesses operate and what it takes to thrive in a digital economy. Digital is now typically driving around half of revenue (45%) for UK organisations.

However, despite this appetite for digital transformation, UK businesses are in technology investment ‘limbo’ as Brexit and GDPR create confusion around how to proceed and where to invest to drive innovation, whilst remaining compliant. Specifically, over three quarters of UK businesses (76%) say Brexit has impacted their ability to plan and invest in technology innovation.

IT leaders are under immense pressure and struggling to take back control in uncertain times. Demands for better, faster data are increasing. Almost three-quarters (72%) of UK businesses say there is more demand in the business for real-time analytics and interactive simulations than a year ago. Despite this, 61% see unstructured data putting a lot of pressure on storage in their organisation.

>See also: Manufacturers say Brexit is blocking digital transformation

Cloud is everywhere and businesses are keen to maximise intelligence from their data, simplify storage and run operations with cloud agility. Use of public cloud is expected to increase and 72% of UK companies think that cloud and on-premise should complement one another rather than compete. Yet over two thirds (67%) say their organisation has reduced usage of public cloud over the past year due to security concerns.

Added to this, technical complexity (44%) and the reliance on IT to deliver the strategy (43%), are among the most significant barriers businesses see to digital transformation. Even fundamentals such as storage are seen to be slowing down digital transformation progress in almost two-thirds of businesses (62%).

“UK business are clearly motivated to embrace digital, but in their desire to respond to customer demand, innovate quickly and forge new business models, storage and IT resources are being overwhelmed by new data demands,” said James Petter, VP EMEA of Pure Storage.

>See also: UK tech job prospects down as Brexit looms

“In today’s cloud era being data-driven is the new normal. Organisations need a data platform that enables them to capitalise on new insights from data simply, in real-time, across multiple cloud-environments. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ and choice and flexibility is key to successful digital transformation – not only for individual businesses, but the UK at large.”


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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...