'Wrong tool for the job' driving British business inefficiency


The efficiency of employees in almost half of UK mid-sized companies is being hampered by not having the right device for the job (e.g. laptop, tablet or smartphone), according to the latest research* from BT.

Capital cost is biggest barrier for IT decision makers says latest BT research

The efficiency of employees in almost half of UK mid-sized companies is being hampered by not having the right device for the job (e.g. laptop, tablet or smartphone), according to the latest research* from BT.

The research, based on interviews with decision makers in UK companies regarding their key business priorities and challenges, found that 45 per cent of respondents in organisations with 1,000-3,000 employees felt not having the right device for the job was hampering efficiency. It also highlighted that almost one in five of those identifying challenges (17 per cent) saw impeded mobility as the biggest challenge associated with employees not being equipped with the latest technologies, followed by a lack of access to online and cloud-based resources (13 per cent). Interestingly, of those surveyed, only ten per cent felt that their employees had the right devices to do their jobs.

Asked specifically about the biggest impact on their businesses, almost a quarter (23 per cent) said that staff having the wrong device caused loss of income due to lack of staff productivity; the same number said they believed it was a drain on IT resources.

An additional 22 per cent believed it diverted IT resources from strategic projects or initiatives, and 14 per cent said it damaged the company’s brand or reputation. 10 per cent saw not properly equipping employees as an HR issue, suggesting that it led to the loss of employees or not getting the best staff.

When it came to the reasons behind UK companies failing to adopt the latest technologies, almost half (44 per cent) saw capital cost or budgetary issues as the biggest barrier, followed by integration (27 per cent) and the cost of management (10 per cent).

Asked about the associated issue of bad or a lack of device management, again, almost half (45 per cent) saw it as hampering remote working and collaboration, followed by impacting security at 21 per cent and affecting cloud access (20 per cent).

Of those interviewed, a quarter (25 per cent) managed the devices in-house, and a further 50 per cent managed devices themselves with vendor support. Only eight per cent of companies surveyed had devices managed by the end-users themselves and two per cent didn’t have any form of management in place at all.

Jamie Ford, MD digital, product & strategy – BT Business and Public Sector, said: “Technology has been central to business for decades, so having the latest device isn’t a case of keeping up with the Joneses, it’s all about having the best tool for the job. The impact of not having the right technology – particularly devices – in place can be far reaching and have a significant impact on businesses.

As the research highlights, capital cost, integration and management are often the biggest barriers, but – like the software market – the devices market has changed significantly, and we’re increasingly talking about ‘Devices-as-a-Service’ (or DVaaS). This is a cost effective way of ensuring that employees have the latest devices, and everything is managed and continually updated, with companies paying a monthly fee – in much the same way as cars are now procured.The benefits to businesses of this approach are reduced IT overheads, more fluid budgets and more productive and motivated employees who are able to collaborate and work more freely in different environments.”

For further details about how BT Business’ IT Services division is working with customers to help them ensure their teams have the tools they need to do their job effectively, visit www.bt.com/itservices/collaborativeworkspace.

Notes to editors

* Survey commissioned by BT IT Services, and conducted by independent research agency Vanson Bourne in September 2015. It interviewed 100 IT decision makers in mid-sized UK companies including those with 1000-3000 employees and those with more than 3000 employees.