UK slow to adopt the digital economy, survey says

A new study by Oxford Economics has revealed that just one in every 100 organisations in the UK are capitalising on the digital economy.

The survey of over 4,000 executives in 21 countries found that the UK is lagging behind other European nations when it comes to digital readiness, including Germany, where  41% of organisations are well on the path to realising the benefits of digital transformation. Spain (22%) is also outpacing the UK, which lags towards the bottom of the rankings.


Digital winners

Interestingly, organisations more advanced in the digital economy – referred to in the research as ‘digital winners’ – are more likely to enjoy diversity, with higher female representation at mid-level management level and slightly more women overall.

Many organisations lack diversity in their workforce, but those with superior executive leadership and stronger financial performance fare better.

Four in ten of the study’s digital winners globally reported effective diversity programmes, compared to 36% of all companies in France, 33% in Russia, 30% in the UK and 23% in Spain.


Embracing digital transformation

Organisations can embrace digital transformation by developing millennial executives, according to the study. Nearly all European companies reported a smaller proportion of millennial executives compared to the global average.

While Russia reported a high percentage of millennials in leadership positions (33% vs. 17% globally), Germany (16%), Spain (6%), the UK (5%) and France (1%) lagged behind.

Around the world, millennial leaders are more pessimistic than other executives about the digital readiness of their organisations, ranking their leadership between 15 and 23 percentage points lower than non-millennial executives.

“The digitalisation of our world has brought about massive changes to the workforce and workplace, and organisations need to rapidly transform to keep up,” said Mike Ettling, president of SAP SuccessFactors. “There’s a substantial opportunity for leaders across Europe and beyond to embrace the notion of becoming more digitally minded and digitally connected.

“As leaders, we must create an environment where people thrive by enabling them to make data-driven decisions quickly, reducing complexity and bureaucracy, and embracing diversity and inclusion.

“Digital is not just about adopting technology — it’s about creating a culture of innovation, where exponential outcomes are not just possible but demanded.”


Where are you on the journey?

If you’ve ever wondered how your peers are progressing on their journey to digital transformation, and how their efforts measure up to those of your organisation, here’s your chance to find out.

We’re inviting UK-based organisations to take part in this short survey to share their vision for digital, the opportunities they see, the challenges they’ve faced, and crucially, how far they’ve come on their journey.

Your responses will form the basis of a longer project by Digital by Default News in partnership with Agilisys to gauge the state of digital in the UK. Complete the survey today and as a thank you, we’ll send you an advance copy of the final report, due to be published in the new year. There is also an opportunity to enter a prize draw for iPad Mini 2.

Don’t worry, your answers will be kept strictly confidential.

Take the survey now – your deadline for taking part is Friday 2 December 2016.

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