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The Month in Numbers

41 – ESG BOOST

Two fifths (41%) of UK businesses have made the move to refurbished IT to help meet their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals, reveals a survey of 1,200 business owners by www.europc. co.uk. A further quarter say they will be choosing refurbished IT instead of brand- new equipment when the time comes for them to upgrade. The remaining 34% of businesses say they alternate between buying refurbished and brand-new IT equipment. The most popular refurbished tech items are laptops (71%), desktop PCs (68%), servers (59%), monitors (48%) and network equipment (37%). More than four fifths (82%) of business owners say they have saved significant costs by buying refurbished IT.  europc.co.uk

77  – UK FIRMS DO MIND THE GAP

New concourse at Leeds station

Three quarters (77%) of businesses in England have a digital skills gap in their organisation that they are struggling to fill through upskilling existing employees or recruiting new staff with adequate digital skills. In a survey of 425 senior IT decision-makers by The Open University (OU), 69% of businesses in England said they are struggling to recruit staff with adequate digital skills. Almost half believe that improving digital skills would add value to their organisation by driving ‘business’ profitability’ (48%) and improving ‘productivity’ (46%) and competitiveness (45%). Forty-eight per cent of respondents think that upskilling current employees would help avoid the need for expensive new hires. The technical skills in shortest supply are cyber security (lacking in 42% of organisations), software development (36%) and network engineering (24%). The Open University is one of the first institutions to offer new HTQs (Higher Technical Qualifications) in Network Engineering and Software Development. Open.ac.uk

776,000  – TIME TO DITCH SECOND HANDSET?

YourBusinessNumber says UK businesses could reduce their carbon footprint by 776,000 tonnes per year by not giving employees a second handset for business calls. It estimates that 38% of UK workers are provided with a second handset to keep their business calls separate from their personal ones at a cost to UK businesses of almost £6 billion per year and an environmental cost of 776,112 tons of CO2e per year. Your Business Number avoids the need for a second handset or phone contract by providing businesses with a second number that works with WhatsApp Business for just £4.99 per month. The ability to switch off WhatsApp Business at the end of the day helps employees keep their professional and private lives separate. www.yourbusinessnumber.com

1,800,000 – BOUNTY PAYMENTS ZOOM UP

In 2021 Zoom awarded security researchers $1.8 million for helping identify and resolve over 400+ bugs through its private bug bounty program. Zoom works with over 800 security researchers globally via the HackerOne platform. With bounties ranging from $250 to $50,000, Zoom has awarded a total of $2.4 million in bounty payments and swag since the program’s inception in 2020.

3,000,000 – POOR RETURNS

On average, UK organisations spend over £3 million paying ransom demands. More than half (56%) of CFOs surveyed by Deep Instinct say their organisation has paid a ransom for the return of data. Of those, only 32% were able to recover their data. One quarter (27%) of organisations have a separate line item
in their budget to pay a ransomware demand, with a further 35% relying on professional indemnity insurance to cover the cost. www.deepinstinct.com

82,000,000 – HEY BIG SPENDER

A single day of commuting is worth £82m to British businesses, claims a
new study by researchers from Imperial College London for the Rail Delivery Group. Researchers calculate that by going into the office one more day
every week hybrid workers could boost British businesses by £4.2 billion over the course of a year. Before the pandemic, commuters spent £30 billion a year across the country, so a predicted 26% drop in commuting could cost businesses as much as £7.5 billion over the course of a year. (sources: COVID-19 and Business Policies – Medium Term Impact on Rail Passenger Demand, compiled by Jacobs for the Passenger Demand Forecasting Council, and Wave 8 of the BVA BDRC COVID-19 Rail Tracker compiled by researchers from the Transport Strategy Centre at Imperial College London for Rail Delivery Group)

2.5 billion – VOICE OVER 5G GROWTH

The total number of Voice-over-5G users will reach 2.5 billion globally by 2026, up from 290 million in 2022, driven by acceleration of 5G roll-outs following a slowdown during the pandemic, according to a study by Juniper Research (Mobile Voice Strategies: Future Monetisation Opportunities & Market Forecasts 2022-2026). Juniper is advising operators to capitalise on rising numbers of Voice-over-5G users by creating a portfolio of business- oriented voice services, prioritising interactive calling, which leverages 5G networks to offer advanced voice calling functionality, including interactive content and screensharing, directly in the native calling app on smartphones, thus negating the need for third-party applications. juniperresearch.com

10 billion – CABLES, CABLES EVERYWHERE

$10 billion worth of new submarine cables are expected to enter service between 2022 and 2024, according to estimates by telecommunications market research and consulting firm TeleGeography. This follows the deployment of new cables with a combined construction cost of $12 billion on every major subsea route between 2016 and 2021 to meet growing demand for bandwidth. A copy of TeleGeography’s latest Submarine Cable Map sponsored by Telecom Egypt, which maps 486 cable systems and 1,306 landings worldwide, can be downloaded from https://bit.ly/3juv227.

2018