The O2 Business Barometer today revealed that 48% of British businesses felt the government needed to do more to support businesses by improving access to technology and connectivity. This comes in the same week that Ofcom’s SME connectivity report revealed 78% satisfaction with mobile contract value for money, 75% satisfaction with reliability of signal, and 73% satisfaction with geographical coverage.
The survey of 1,200 small, medium and large companies and public sector bodies also showed that 59% of businesses feel better connectivity would benefit their organisation. This puts digital above physical infrastructure with 13% less suggesting physical infrastructure would improve their business.
In late 2016 the Government revealed new investments available to business and councils which helped develop wireless and fibre infrastructure, but it seems this isn’t enough to keep up with business demands, as the survey reveals 80% expect technology to be a key driver of commercial success for their business.
Infrastructure, both physical and digital, remains a key part of the Government’s drive to improve the UK’s sluggish productivity, with each percentage increase in productivity per capita worth £7.55 billion per year to British industry according to Hay Group’s What’s My Motivation? report.
O2 sales director Ben Dowd explains, ‘The O2 Business Barometer offers a stark reminder that mobile technology is now a vital part of modern life and business and it’s transforming our economy. For us to continue to deliver a customer-centred digital transformation it has to be supported by further digital infrastructure investment.
‘The Government has set out its plans for a ‘world class digital infrastructure’. Now it’s time for action. We need collective effort from Government and industry to make sure businesses across Britain have access to the technology and connectivity they need to keep up with their customers’ demands, achieve growth and remain competitive on the global stage.’
Other areas of government support for business which need improving according to the survey include a reduction in regulation (64%), funding access (41%), talent and training provisions (39%) and trade agreements (37%).
It’s not just the government, which has its eyes on productivity gains either, 73% of business cited improving employee productivity as a key focus for 2017. From the other side, unified comms companies who spoke to Mobile to give their 2017 predictions commonly referenced flexible working and cloud solutions as a key focus. Verastar CEO forsees ‘a greater take-up of mobile applications to allow small business to manager their business on the move.’
With dealers supplying productivity tools and companies demanding it, could it be a perfect match?