Research reveals that reducing reliance on multiple IT providers and increasing flexibility in tech departments could save UK plc almost £2bn
In a week where the Liberal Democrats offered their long-promised, trimmed down Trident proposals to negate some of the whopping £100bn cost, it’s clear that re-injecting some funds back into the economy is still very much the order of the day. Which is why hearing that a few simple steps could help us boost the economy by £1.7bn is likely to be welcome news to entrepreneurs.
According to a new study courtesy of Virgin Media Business, in which the business communications provider worked with 500 chief information officers (CIOs), reducing the number of IT contracts an enterprise holds to just one provider could save them up to 30% of their IT spend. Whilst for a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) this may represent a more modest saving, given the average UK enterprise spends £4m on workplace technology every year, the savings made would average more than £1m every year. Far from small potatoes at a time when working as efficiently as possible is still a worthy endeavour.
The research has more useful tips for our UK tech execs, with senior business leaders recommending that flexibility should definitely be considered a business’s best friend. According to the report, allowing employees to work in the setting and manner of their choosing could not only increase happiness but also reduce absenteeism by 10%. Allowing staff to work remotely and allowing them the flexibility to bring their own devices could reduce absences by enough to bank an additional £1.7bn across the whole of UK plc.
Duncan Higgins, director of product and marketing at Virgin Media Business, explained: “In the past, the workplace has been a monochrome, inflexible place which hasn’t allowed staff to work in a way that lets them flourish and this research shows this is now costing organisations money. CIOs can clearly see there’s an opportunity to encourage a new connected collaboration culture which capitalises on people’s differences rather than working around them.”
All told, it’s not a bad result for businesses in the UK, regardless of their size. Making significant savings and having a workforce more confident with their tools and their environment certainly isn’t something any enterprise can turn its nose up at. And when this could spell several billion pounds going toward economic growth rather than unnecessary expenditure, it’s certainly some pleasant news for all involved.