Mainland UK is a divided kingdom – or at least that’s the way it sometimes seems; split between between North and South, haves and have-nots, in-ers and out-ers. Now, the CBI and IBM are warning of a divide between businesses that have embraced digitisation (55%) and those that haven’t (45%). They argue that this split is bad not only for digital laggards, but for the nation as a whole, pointing out that while the UK takes the Number One spot for e-commerce and fith place for availability of technology, it ranks 14th in the world for company-level adoption of digital technology. Interestingly, pioneers and laggards are united in their appreciation of digitisation’s positive impact on everything from productivity to customer satisfaction. What separates them is a range of factors, including connectivity (the UK is still split between those with access to high speed broadband and those without), a lack of appropriate skills (cited by 42% of fims) and an unclear return on investment (33%). Anyone who needs help identifying the business case for digitisation or fiding partners who can help them transform their processes should head to next month’s AIIM UK Forum in London. For more details, turn to page 16.
One much heralded benefi of digitisation is the freeing up of space once occupied by fiing cabinets and document archives. Reduced paper consumption means businesses can use such areas for a variety of more productive purposes, from breakout rooms where employees can relax with colleagues to more formal meeting rooms. More and more of these are now being equipped with video-conferencing systems. These are often introduced (and the investment approved) on the basis that they save the time and expense of travelling to meetings. But as we report on page 24, potentially of even greater value is their use for spontaneous, ad hoc meetings, which can speed up decisionmaking and break down barriers between teams.
Digitisation is not the only reason a business might have space to play with. Space can also be freed up by changes in technology, staffig requirements, mergers and acquisitions etc., especially in large multi-site organisations. David Priestley of Toolshed Communications has become an expert in converting empty space into productive use. On page 38 he explains how to identify areas suitable for development and how to maximise your return on investment.
James Goulding, Editor, email@example.com