Technology learning curve

One quarter of industrial businesses in the UK admit that they are behind the curve with limited or no technology strategy at all, according to a new Disruptive Technology Report by management consultancy CIL.

As a result, it is claimed these businesses are at risk of losing their competitive edge over the medium term.

This lack of preparation comes despite the majority of respondents (86%) recognising that technology will impact their business in some way over the next five years.

The research also highlighted the areas technology will have the greatest impact. Most respondents (59%) acknowledged that technological development will drive business performance, either through ensuring better quality delivery of optimising internal processes.

Just under half (46%) of those surveyed identified technology as a way to drive competitive advantage by enabling product and service differentiation. This can be achieved by doing current activities better or by operating in new ways. As technology develops more rapidly, early adopters will see their ability to differentiate become more apparent.

Just one third (33%) saw the opportunity to leverage technology to developing new products or services. This is not surprising as it is the most disruptive approach but ignoring this area could pose a risk by not embracing innovative thinking, CIL said.

Jon Whiteman, partner at CIL, said: “Technology development will affect most industrial businesses over the coming years. Many are unprepared or underestimate the potential impact. It is important to have a well-crafted technology strategy but also to commit significant resources to it based on a clear understanding of which areas create most value.”