UK business leaders set deadline of 2020 to transform organisations with priorities on people, technology and greater social purpose
70% of consumers state it is more important than ever that businesses care about their broader impact – on society, the environment and people
London, UK - 6th November 2018:New research from Cisco highlights that 80% of business leaders in the UK have set themselves a deadline of 2020 to make dramatic changes to their organisations; from the jobs their employees do and the technology they use, to changing processes to boost productivity.
Based on a survey of more than 1,000 UK business leaders, the findings showcase that whilst navigating a landscape of unprecedented change, leaders are more aware than ever of the broader impact of their actions; placing focus on the skills of the people they employ, their use of technology to enable automation and having greater social purpose.
- Leaders, consumers and employees care about social impact.69% of business leaders view a balance between social purpose and profit as important, compounded by expectations of consumers (70%) and employees (60%) for organisations to have a focus on their broader social impact, with 56% ultimately more likely to buy from businesses who do.
- Technology both necessitates and enables business change. Recognised as an opportunity for reinvention as well as a catalyst for skills development, almost three quarters (71%) of business leaders believe they must make changes to their business because of new technologies. 78% think technologies that power automation such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have a key role to play in guiding what they do next. Crucially, four-fifths view these new technologies as factoring into business-critical decisions in the future.
- People and their skills will define the competitiveness of UK business. As business in the UK is increasingly shaped by technology, leaders believe that more than half (55%) of job roles will change, with two thirds prioritising upskilling employees with digital skillsand 74% actively trying to increase access to new skills.
“We are in an era of extraordinary change which is both catalysed and enabled by technology.” Commented Scot Gardner, Chief Executive, Cisco UK and Ireland “However, the opportunity presented by new technology cannot be realised in a vacuum. As the research highlights, business leaders in the UK see the need to focus on people, purpose and partnerships to have a positive impact on both the business environment and wider society – we now have to ensure we act upon it.”
Cisco’s research highlights that technology has the potential to catalyse the UK’s business environment if business leaders have a clear focus on their impact on people, their partnerships and their purpose:
1. People:The research shows a clear need for business to both skill and re-skill tomorrow’s workforce to support a thriving and evolving digital economy.
2. Partnerships:Whether it’s solving the world’s biggest problems, becoming more productive or helping businesses be more competitive, one thing is clear: nobody can do it alone. Positively, 64% of business leaders identified collaboration as a key success factor for their next step.
3. Purpose:Having a strong vision for the business, and its impact on society, is more important to employees and customers than ever. 69% of business leaders agree that it is important that what they do next brings wider benefits to society, yet when it comes to taking action, only 15% are driven by social good or impact beyond their businesses as a priority. Furthermore, despite nearly all business leaders turning to technology, 84% do not consider ethical implications to be a substantial barrier to business transformation.
The Cisco report can be downloaded here
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PR Manager, Cisco UK & Ireland
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