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The Month in Numbers

Parenthood is not all bad from a professional point of view. Even though three out of four working mothers say they have experienced discrimination because of their pregnancy and maternity, a survey carried out by coaching consultancy Talking Talent suggests that parenthood fosters certain transferable skills that can help advance people’s careers. Four out of 10 new parents report improved time management/ organisation skills (44%); greater resilience (41%); the ability to manage change better (40%) and enhanced wellbeing (40%). Parents also claim to have better people management skills (39%), better leadership skills (38%), the confidence to have difficult conversations (37%) and more gravitas (35%).

UK BUSINESSES are unaware and unprepared when it comes to protecting themselves against cyber-attacks, new research has revealed. A survey of 1,032 IT workers carried out by technology services provider Probrand found that almost half (43%) don’t know how to defend their company from a cyber-attack; 21% aren’t even sure what constitutes a ‘cyber-attack’; and only one in ten knows what their company’s business continuity plan entails.

By 2029, 75% of European organisations will be completely digitally transformed and will have become what IDC calls ‘Digital Native Enterprises’. For the time being, warns IDC and cloud company Domo, decision-makers continue to be hampered by a number of obstacles, including data fragmentation and siloed data systems (57%), organisational complexity that prevents all affected stakeholders from agreeing to a decision and lack of visibility across business processes (28%).

A fundamental misunderstanding of service providers’ backup provision is putting many UK enterprises at serious risk of data loss, warns 4sl, a provider of backup and disaster recovery managed services. Its study of 200 large enterprises shows that 73% of Office 365 Exchange Online users and 92% of Google Cloud Platform users believe such services retain backup data for longer than they do. As standard, Google Cloud Platform does not include any backup provision and Office 365 Exchange Online only does so for 14 days. Because many enterprises have not made provision for additional backup, 46% of organisations using Office 365 Exchange Online and 51% of those using Google Cloud Platform are exposing themselves to the risk of permanent data loss or non-compliance. The problem is likely to get worse as enterprise use of cloud services grows and the greater diversity of cloud services increases backup complexity.

British entrepreneurs and companies were granted just 3,001 patents domestically in 2018, a fall of 8% on the 2017 figure and the biggest year on year decline since 2013. Out of the top 10 global economies, the UK had the second biggest drop in patents granted, surpassed only by Canada (down 13%). Three quarters of patents filed in the UK were rejected by the IPO. In contrast, there was a 23% rise in patents granted to British inventions by the European Patent Office (to 3,827) and a 2% increase in global patents granted. The UK currently lies in 9th place in the global league table for successful patents, with 115 times fewer patents granted than China and 48 times fewer than the US (source: Santander UK) .

461 million
Delivery drivers, cleaners, window cleaners, postal workers, refuse collectors and newspaper delivery people were in line to receive £461 million in tips from customers at Christmas. According to research by Direct Line for Business, cleaners were due to receive the largest tips (just over £12 on average) and online delivery drivers the smallest (£6.74).

23.4 billion
In the last year, UK SME late payment debt has almost doubled to £23.4 billion, up from £13 billion owed in 2018 (source: Pay.UK). More than half (54%) of SMEs have overdue payments, the highest level since 2015. The average late payment debt burden has also increased, reaching £25,000 per company, up from just over £17,000 in 2018. In total, UK SMEs spend £4.4 billion a year just collecting money they are owed, with 22% of creditors spending more than £500 a month chasing payment