CBI Scotland – ‘do more with digital’

Posted On: 28th April 2016

CBI Scotland Director Hugh Aitken will encourage Scottish firms to do more with digital technology at an event with senior business leaders in Dundee.Government Opportunities

In a speech at Dundee and Angus College, he will reinforce the importance of digital technology by unveiling new IBM/CBI research illustrating that digital is fundamental to the success of firms across Scotland.

Companies across the globe are not immune to growing digitisation, and the UK is in prime position to capitalise on it – we are first in the world for e-Commerce, and fifth for the availability of technology. In Scotland firms like Skyscanner, FanDuel and Rockstar are leading the way.

The new UK-wide study, called ‘Embracing digital in every sector’,  shows that just over half of firms (55%) are pioneers in adopting and forging ahead with digital technologies and processes, reaping the benefits, while the other half (45%) are being left behind.

The pioneers have longer term visions in place. They were responsible for more than half (51%) of investment in technology by business over the past year, and more than a quarter (28%) have already invested in the next big thing, cognitive technology, compared to just 9% of firms on the other side of the divide.

Hugh Aitken, CBI Scotland Director, said:

“The business benefits of digital are clear. 94% of businesses agree that digital technology spurs productivity, so it’s vital they become more digitally savvy, and understand the strategic advantage of having a truly digital mind set.

With shortages of digital skills across the country, firms should also draw on the expertise of the generation at the very heart of the digital revolution. We would like to see businesses bringing in younger, digitally savvy advisers to boards or having reverse mentors, where older executives are paired with and mentored by younger employees.

Ultimately, we need to see an education & skills agenda that ensures a steady pipeline of relevant digital and technology skills for companies. The right regulatory conditions will of course need to be in place, but most important to business is having access to the innovative, boundary pushing skills of the bright minds in our schools and universities.

Technological change is happening at a quicker rate than was ever imagined possible. Ensuring Scotland is in pole position to take advantage of this change will see all sectors of the economy flourish, for the benefit of all, in a truly digital world.”

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