Writing in our sister publication PrintIT, Emma Thomas, Head of Sales South & Brokers (Vendor Finance) at Siemens Financial Services, explains how smart financing can help businesses update their technology to remain
competitive without using up valuable capital. As a provider of leasing solutions you would expect her to say that. But that doesn’t mean she is wrong. As we report on page 4, new research by ADP suggests that British workers are falling behind their European counterparts when it comes to the provision of essential productivity tools. Nuance reached a similar conclusion in a recent pan-European survey of speech recognition and PDF software adoption. Could this help explain the UK’s poor productivity levels?
A new survey by Vodafone highlights low adoption of another technology that has the potential to improve the productivity of SMEs. It found that more than three quarters of UK SMEs still don’t have 4G and are missing out on the speed and reliability improvements that it offers. Once again, this is not entirely self-serving. Root Metrics analysis covered on page 28 shows that 4G’s benefits are real. That said, being lectured by a mobile phone company on the need to upgrade technology to remain competitive is beyond irritating considering the UK’s patchy mobile coverage. I wonder how many businesses with flexible working policies find that, even in 2015, some employees are unable to use their company mobile when working from home.
For just as long, too many homeworkers have had to put up with inadequate broadband, so new Ofcom rules that make it easier for consumers to switch broadband or landline supplier are most welcome. From June 20, there will be a ‘one touch’ process for switching between providers who use the Openreach telecoms network, including BT, EE, Sky and TalkTalk. This places responsibility for the broadband or landline switch entirely in the hands a customer’s new provider, including contract cancellations and switching codes. Even more welcome is a new Code of Practice that enables customers to exit a contract without penalty should broadband speeds fall below acceptable levels. In announcing the changes, Ofcom chief executive Sharon White said: “When Ofcom was established, access to a reliable internet connection and mobile phone was a ‘nice to have’. Now it is essential to the functioning of the economy, to the way people work and live their lives.” How regrettable that the Government thinks it more important to cut 30 or 40 minutes off train journey times than to provide a truly national high speed broadband network.
James Goulding, Editor
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