Welcome to your roundup of some of the past week’s most interesting surveys, statistics and reports relevant to those involved in the UK tech industry.
This week, we have statistics relating to large-scale investment in automated intelligence, online dating, technological transformation, charging facilities in venues and the state of innovation.
Automated Intelligence investment
Large scale investment in automated intelligence across UK technology businesses is imminent, according to experts at NatWest’s annual technology conference.
A survey carried out at the event included a live survey of some of the key issues facing businesses in the technology sector with over half (51.4%) saying they planned to invest in AI or IoT ‘any day now’.
Additionally, some 28% of attendees said disruptive new tech entrants would have the biggest impact on their organisation over the next decade. This was followed closely by 26% voting for AI/automation, 18% saying digital transformation, 15% voting big data and analytics, 8% mobile and just 2% robotics.
The survey also asked participants what was most on their mind at the moment with 56.3% saying Brexit, 16.7% voting cyber attacks, 14.6% data collection and protection and 12.5% agreeing on AI.
Neil Bellamy, head of technology, media and telecoms at NatWest, said: “The technology industry and developments in AI and robotics is one of the most important issues for UK businesses.
“How businesses prepare for and adapt to changes and challenges will determine how they perform in a constantly evolving environment.
“The event was a great success and it was great to have Pepper on hand and delve into what businesses were most concerned about across the industry.”
Research unveiled this week has shown that some 37% of smartphone owners have either found love online or know someone who has.
Additionally, the research carried out by media agency UM, found that that a quarter 33% of men said they had found love online after using dating apps. Some 9% of women said the same.
Generally speaking, 6% of Brits said they had used a dating app in the past six months (7% of men versus 4% of women), but this rises to 15% among 16-24-year-olds and to a quarter (24%) among people identifying as gay or lesbian.
George McMahon, insight executive at UM, said: “Dating apps are fast becoming the go-to option for people looking for romance. They’re simple, inexpensive and easy to use and can be one of the only ways for modern, incredibly busy singles to meet new people. It’s also no surprise that the tech-savvy teen and millennial market are the biggest users of these apps. Smartphones are their window to the world.”
Embracing technology developments
Most British companies are seemingly unprepared for the technological changes set to change the workplace in the next decade. That’s according to research released by TalkTalk Business.
The Workforces 2025 report found that the majority of British workers are frustrated to find themselves in office environments where they lack access to the right level of technology to do their jobs properly.
Less than 1 in 5 (17%) said they regularly used instant messaging services for work, indicating that few British businesses are taking advantage of established technology solutions that have been around for a decade.
The report also highlighted that only a minority of British companies are looking to prioritise investment in technology. The rise of machine learning, AI and robotics combined with shifting employment expectations, are all predicted to significantly shift the nature and practice of work in the developed world.
A new study has revealed that 37.8% of Brits would be more inclined to visit a hospitality venue specifically because it offered charging facilities as a service, with an additional 31% saying the service could influence their decision to visit.
The study, which was conducted by CHARGit, a provider of wireless charging technology, questioned 2,000 consumers from all over the UK as part of research into the habits of those who use portable electronic devices.
Hayley Freedman, co-founder of CHARGit said: “It wasn’t so long ago that ‘free Wi-Fi here’ was a welcoming enticement for potential custom at a hospitality venue. These days free Wi-Fi is seen as a given, but the offer of charging facilitiesoffers untapped potential for hospitality providers. Now that Apple is completely on-board with wireless charging too after their big announcement on Tuesday, it should be the catalyst for most of the world to follow suit.”
She continued: “We’re becoming increasingly reliant on our smartphones and other portable electronic devices. This reliance is inextricably linked to battery life. Without battery, our smartphones, tablets and laptops are useless. With two thirds of us admitting to feeling anxious when batteries run low, this is something hospitality venues should be taking advantage of and it’s why, here at CHARGit, we’re looking to build an infrastructure of friendly wireless changing venues.”
Freedman concluded: “Offering charging facilities helps you to stand out from the crowd, adding an additional service, while marking you out as a place where people can relax and charge their phones, all while supplementing a venue’s income during the process. When combined with things like our CHARGit App, which allows you to send push notifications to users in the area, it offers an entirely new approach to marketing your venue, allowing you to specifically target certain demographics, or simply those who’d like the peace of mind of topping up their battery and staying connected.”
Unilever’s State of Innovation
Unilever Foundry, a global platform for startups and innovators to engage and collaborate, has predicted that corporates and startups will form the ultimate partnership, working side by side in the same physical space by 2025.
Aline Santos, Unilever EVP global marketing, said: “Collaboration can no longer be viewed as an optional extra, it’s a strategic imperative. Startups are now widely recognised as invaluable sources ofinnovation, fueling growth and providing pioneering business solutions.
“The State of Innovation report reveals the appetite for collaboration between corporates and startups and signals a shift in the models adopted for future partnerships. As the Unilever Foundry continues its journey looking for exciting new partnerships, we are continually learning to ensure our future collaborations are effective as possible.”
With 90% of corporates already working with a startup expecting to continue to do so, Unilever Foundry predicts physical shared working spaces will become commonplace to facilitate growth and break down barriers to collaboration.
Additionally, the research revealed the three most important reasons for working together: learning something new (startups 88%/corporates 85%); improving efficiency (startups 81%/corporates81%); and solving business problems in new ways that can scale (startups 89%/corporates 80%).