Exclusive: Half of all UK bosses plan to hire new tech staff this year
Digital transformation is a key focus for UK businesses in the coming months.
While costs have been a deterrent to innovation over the past year for many firms, the majority are looking to funnel investment into new technology projects in 2022.
Nearly half of those polled admit that the cost of development has impeded their firm from upgrading their technology, including the company website or app, over the past 12 months, according to research from Studio Graphene, which was exclusively shared with City A.M. this morning.
The London-based digital agency commissioned an independent survey of 752 senior decision-makers within UK businesses.
It found that past experiences with digital transformation projects have also made an impact on businesses’ willingness to implement new solutions.
Just shy of half (49 per cent) said a poor experience with new technology or vendors has discouraged their business from investing in other projects.
Looking to the future, however, business leaders are renewing innovation efforts.
Half of respondents envisage trialling new technologies to be a top strategic priority for their business in 2022, while similar numbers said their firm intends to launch new digital projects, tools or initiatives next year.
“The new digital-first world will not wait for companies that do not ensure their technology is in keeping with customers’ ever-changing expectations.”Ritam Gandhi
Many are upping their recruitment efforts to support these plans, with 46 per cent of all businesses saying they are also looking to hire new IT staff.
“It’s telling that almost half of UK companies are seeking to hire more IT professionals,” said Ritam Gandhi, founder and director of Studio Graphene.
“Unfortunately, given the digital skills shortage, this might prove an issue for many,” he added.
This figure has remained consistent throughout 2021, with 45 per cent of businesses in a Studio Graphene survey from January confirming they were seeking new tech staff in the year ahead.
When quizzed about the measure of success for digital transformation projects within their company, only 51 per cent said that financial returns are considered the most important benchmark.
When looking at company size, a clear return on investment (ROI) was more important to firms with between 100 and 500 employees (73 per cent), compared to those with between one and 49 employees (44 per cent).
“It is a shame that so many UK businesses have been stung by poor experiences with new technologies, or vendors that do not live up to expectations. Clearly, it is acting as a barrier preventing many companies from embracing digital transformation,” Gandhi said.
“That said, trial and error is the name of the game when it comes to innovation, and it is inspiring to see so many UK business leaders now refocussing their efforts on digital transformation for 2022,” he concluded.