By Mark Mason, Chairman enterprise app consultancy and developer, Mubaloo
According to the latest budget, the UK is growing faster than any other major country (UK, 2.6%, USA 2.4%, Canada 2.4%, Japan 0.1%, France 0.4%, Germany 1.5% and Italy which shrank by 0.4%). The UK is also borrowing less and is more focused on long term sustainable growth than it was five years ago. Indeed, we are now at the end of the longest continuous rise in public debt since 17th century. In other words, the worst is behind us (for now).The government pledged to enable more people to get into apprenticeships than before. It pledged to cut corporation tax. To increase the national living wage to £9 by 2020 and encourage people to work. It pledged more money to the NHS, helping to provide a 7-day service.
The resounding message from the Summer budget was that companies need to continue to be more efficient and more productive to enable Britain’s continued turnaround. Successful, profitable companies means a more sustainable and vibrant economy. Companies therefore need to invest money in the right places to achieve these goals.Britain once ruled the world because it created the Industrial revolution. As a country, we embraced new technologies that saw us change the world. Technology enabled us to build faster ships. Technology enabled us to be the first country in the world to see huge migration to cities. Technology turned time consuming jobs around. Though there was a huge impact involved in this and many mistakes along the way, we became Great Britain because of our lead in technology.
Today, Britain is one of the financial services powerhouses of the world. We have more financial technology startups than anywhere else and burgeoning tech startup hubs dotted around our major cities. We now compete on the global stage, in the global community that we helped to create. But we need to do more to ensure that businesses here can continue to grow, be more profitable and increase efficiency.
At the same time, with more focus on apprenticeships, we need to embrace technologies that help employees to learn on the job, follow the right procedure and help to manage a workforce. Where the computer revolution helped people who were office based, mobile is able to help every employee.
Smartphones, tablets and even wearables are infinitely more powerful than a desktop computer because they enable people to do their jobs more efficiently. The only way that the UK can move forward and continue to compete on the global stage is to invest in technology. Whilst there are clear costs involved in adopting new technology, the older technology becomes, the less efficient employees will be.
The modern technology world has meant that we can continue to make improvements to software based on new technologies that can be distributed over the air. We are able to use insight to make changes that help to make software run better, more useful and more powerful. We also know that every year, the hardware gets more powerful and that there are more tools that we can use to make our lives easier.
Thanks to mobile technology, the world has never been better connected or with more sense of a global community. What used to take weeks or even months can now be done in a matter of seconds. It’s important that the UK leads not just on innovation, but also on having the best run companies in the world. When two year olds can pick up smartphones and know how to use them, it’s clear that technology has changed from being unfriendly, to being uber-friendly.
We are already seeing firms like British Gas looking to future, using mobile technology, with its roll out of Hive, helping to make energy consumption smarter and create a grid that is more efficient, lowering costs for customers. British Gas is embracing technology and helping to lead the move into the Internet of Things, that will help to deliver better business intelligence that ultimately translates to more efficient working practices and better services for end users or customers.
Businesses should be proud that the UK is seemingly bouncing back. We have all seen some difficult times over the past decade, but it’s important that we continue to strive forward. That requires us to learn from past mistakes whilst embracing new, better ways of working and running organisations. Technology once made us the most advanced nation on the planet. It’s time to do that again.