UK business growth ambitions high, but IT innovation hindered by Brexit

Interoute, the UK-headquartered cloud and network provider, has revealed that 90% of British enterprises remain ambitious for growth in the next 10 months despite operating in a market dealing with the impact of Brexit, dynamic technology change and global political uncertainty. In a survey of 120 UK IT leaders, 27% took a conservative view of growth, while 63% of British organisations predicted high growth.

The report revealed how senior IT leaders plan to transform for success. Most UK CIOs (94%) confirmed that Brexit has impacted their IT decision-making.

Nearly six in 10 (58%) see uncertainty around the changing political environment as the single biggest challenge to achieving their digital transformation objectives. On top of this, over half (52%) believe there is a “lack of direction and consensus from the C-suite” at a time when clarity is needed most.

>See also: How Brexit will affect UK app developers and consumers

However, there is an optimistic reaction to change as almost 60% of organisations are making technology infrastructure decisions that allow them to respond to uncertainty to remain competitive and grow.

The report found that 58% of respondents thought the changing political climate was their biggest challenge when making decisions, while (to combat this) 35% are making technology infrastructure decisions to support change.

According to the results, 24% are pursuing digital transformation initiatives that will help drive competitiveness, although 23% have cancelled at least one digital transformation project. This comes after 18% said they were cautious about change, putting digital transformation budgets on hold for now

Matthew Finnie, CTO at Interoute said that “This study proves that most British enterprises are proactively making technology decisions and are prepared to pivot quickly to remain competitive in the face of a changing and uncertain market. It also illustrates how technology planning has taken a strategic shift. Digital transformation is about ensuring an organisation is flexible enough to react to geo-political and market changes as well as delivering customer and business value. This requires an ICT infrastructure that enables, not inhibits, change. Rather than handcuffing an organisation to a specific vendor or inflexible infrastructure choice, it is about ensuring the platform and provider you choose gives you the freedom to change and adapt as the market does.”

>See also: Brexit: what Britain’s technology sector had to say 

Connecting the old with the new

Businesses driving towards different goals are contending with different legacy systems and internal infrastructure challenges to remain competitive, whilst managing costs and ensuring stability.

The key objectives driving the digital transformation strategies of British business are the desire to; modernise IT systems to improve operations and reduce costs (42%), enhance experiences offered to employees (42%) and customers (38%), globalise IT infrastructure to leverage skills from outside of the UK (38%) and foster innovation to drive new revenues and competitive advantage (35%).

Moving to the cloud

In response to changing demands, businesses are migrating a significant proportion of their IT infrastructure (46% on average) to the cloud over the next 10 months. When it comes to choosing which cloud is best for applications, 90% highlighted the need for physical proximity between cloud-based applications and their customers.

>See also: Brexit negotiations: what does the FinTech scene need to know?

And, almost three quarters (73%) stressed the importance of full integration between the cloud and network. Yet, organisations with a cloud strategy are divided over how firm their cloud mandate should be. 28% thought a cloud-first mandate should be in place, regardless of challenges and cost implications, while 28% understood that when an application requires complete re-factoring, reverting to a hybrid strategy makes sense.


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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...

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