Skip to content

Entrepreneurs Panel

Steve Purdham
Charlie Mullins
Julie Meyer
Jennie Johnson
Michael Oliver
David Pollock
Brian Hay
Richard O'Sullivan
Tony Caldeira
Jeremy Roberts
Laura Tenison
Debbie Pierce

91% of UK businesses 'will no longer be competitive' by 2020

Nine out of 10 businesses will no longer be competitive by the end of the decade because of new technology, according to a new report.

The survey of office workers by digital consultancy Infomentum found that half believe their organisation needs to invest in new technology to keep up over the next few years.

At the same time, however, there is a feeling of unease that surrounds these technologies, with many firms simply "jumping on the bandwagon" rather than strategically considering which tech will and will not work for their wider business goals.

It's not businesses that need to prepare for big changes through technology, with 61 per cent of workers expecting their own professions to become increasingly automated by 2020.

Nearly 40 per cent of respondents would like to be able to work flexibly outside of a traditional office, while 37 per cent believed that their organisations will need to offer flexible working in order to stay competitive.

Despite this, two-thirds of employers still do not allow employees to work from home, while one in 10 consider flexible working to be little more than a form of "skiving". Men were also 12 per cent more likely to be allowed to work from home than women, as well as being eight per cent more likely to secure flexible working hours.

Vikram Setia, chief commercial officer at Infomentum, said: "As technological advancements reach a pace of near constant change, businesses must be more sensitive than ever to the way new technologies are affecting reputations and ultimately bottom lines. As we move towards 2020, this constant change is no longer something that businesses must prepare for, but rather a reality that all organisations must embrace. Businesses, employees and even governments will all be affected.

"Attempting to fight against this torrent of change is to try and fight the future itself. Improvements in technology, automation and efficiency are coming, the only thing we as businesses can do is embrace this fact and attempt to lead the change."

  • Kathryn Parsons, co-founder of Decoded, started with little more than faith and determination, but four years later it’s grown into a global business. Ahead of her appearance at Accelerate 2015 in...

  • Author, writer and marketer Ryan Holiday on how entrepreneurs need to interpret failure.

  • Sue Vizard, business coach and author of Jump Start: The Start-up Book for Your Dream Business, looks at some of the questions solo entrepreneurs should ask themselves.

  • Ian Wright, founder and chief executive of NonExecutiveDirectors.com, is bringing together SMEs and NEDs - without the hefty recruitment fees.

  • Former professional golfer turned entrepreneur Colin Stevens has had a busy 18 months. The Better Bathrooms founder has increased turnover at the firm, secured a multi-million pound investment and...

Five Minutes With

David Hughes sums up his entrepreneurial career to date thus: four spectacular successes and two failures. He founded the sports retailer Allsports and achieved turnover of £180 million before a vicious price war meant decline, administration in 2005 and a sell-off to rival JD Sports.

It took Richard Shonn, managing director of 151 Products, three years to find a warehouse big enough for his requirements.