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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : August 16, 2016

80% of UK businesses fear displacement by tech-savvy start-ups

Eight out of 10 businesses in the UK fear being displaced, not only by startups, but by established competitors, reveals a new survey from digital transformation firm, Squiz.

by Helen Leggatt

Despite being aware of their own shortcomings, almost 80% of businesses in the UK fear they could be displaced by startups or established businesses. Half (49%) feared disruption from established companies while 36% had concerns that start-ups embracing new technology would displace them, according to Squiz's report 'Digital Disruptors: are UK businesses fit enough to survive?'.

Despite such concerns, and the recognition among many of the businesses surveyed that digital technology is at the heart of today's innovation, many (38%) believe they require more technology experts within their organisation to remain competitive. Thirty-seven percent said marketing and advertising were key skills needed, as well as data and analytics (31%).

The report also reveals that businesses in the UK, even those within the so-called "Tech Hub" that is London, are lagging behind when it comes to the adoption of leading-edge technology. Only 24% of businesses said they are currently using artificial intelligence or virtual reality. However, this is not surprising when more than a third (36%) still do not have a mobile website or mobile app.

"It's worrying to see that a staggering 44% of businesses believe they are either the same business they were 10 years ago, or similar. With the rate of digital transformation accelerating more than ever, this cannot be the case if these businesses want to survive," said Stephen Morgan, Co-Founder of Squiz.

"However, I am glad to see that businesses have recognized that innovation will be the key to their survival, giving them time to change their approach. For the 40% of businesses that said they are slow to innovate, it is vital that they find the point of vulnerability within their business and act to bridge the gap it presents, before another business swoops in to do it for them, offering a better alternative to customers."

Tags: business trends, digital transformation, technology, UK

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