Posted on October 24, 2019 by staff

How do we supercharge our digital economy?


The technology sector is booming.

In 2018 it grew at 2.6 times faster than the UK economy overall. And that looks set to increase.

AI technologies alone could bring an additional £232 billion to the UK economy by 2035. Driverless cars are estimated to add £28bn to the economy in the same time frame. IoT is estimated to save us £75bn over the next five years.

We are already a world leader in data-driven growth and in the adoption of technologies such as advanced connectivity and cloud computing, particularly in healthcare, transport and smart cities.

Emerging and transformative digital tools, solutions and services are driving economic growth, increasing productivity, creating jobs and helping entrepreneurs and SMEs to succeed and grow. The transformative power and potential of digital technologies including AI, IoT, AR/VR and 5G are key to driving economic growth and unlocking the productivity of UK organisations, particularly in key sectors, such as transport, logistics and manufacturing.

Now is the time to supercharge the digital transformation of industries across the UK economy by increasing the adoption, deployment and use of digital technologies.

So how do we make this happen? What are the key ingredients for success and how do we get this right for companies across the UK?

Firstly, we must support increased digitisation across the economy to drive productivity by introducing measures to support non-digital businesses to embrace new technologies with confidence. We must do more to encourage the take up of digital services, software and tools such as cloud computing, supply chain management software, IoT technologies and new AI driven solutions.

Secondly, we need a comprehensive package of measures to support UK R&D in digital industries. This is not only key to ensuring increased digitisation but also to meet the Government’s commitment to spending 2.4 per cent of GDP on R&D by 2027.

We need to ensure the innovative digital tools and solutions are available to UK companies. To do this we must take steps now, for example, by aligning the UK’s R&D Tax Credit systems with others a globally to enable one form of tax relief to both R&D programme expenditure and facilities.

Thirdly, it is vital businesses have access to the skills and talent they need to meet the digital skills gap the UK is facing. Additional work is needed to enable the next generation to develop their digital skills. It is not just about the next generation but also upskilling those within the organisation as the way we work changes over time.

Industry, government and academia need to work together to help businesses, and local authorities, to get the support they need to drive the design, adoption and implementation of digital services.

These are all vital issues that we are focusing on during our flagship Supercharging the Digital Economy event on 6th November in Manchester.

This event brings the brightest minds from this ecosystem to discuss what ‘supercharging’ really means for key sectors, in particular manufacturing, transport and logistics, and what it means for the North.

Come join us as we push forward on the trajectory towards a truly supercharged digital economy across the UK.

BusinessCloud readers can attend the event for the techUK member rate of £99 by using the discount code BC61119. The full price of entry without the discount is £299.