Study by Sungard Availability Services finds that offering the right digital tools is a crucial aspect of attracting and retaining talent for today’s organisations

London, United Kingdom: 8th June 2016 – Research from Sungard Availability Services® (Sungard AS), a leading provider of information availability through managed IT, cloud and recovery services, has revealed that UK employees are leaving their current employers if digital expectations are not met.

The study found that having access to the latest digital tools is considered crucial by 76% of UK workers, whilst a third (33%) admitted they would be embarrassed to work in an organisation without them. Worryingly, 21% of UK employees have actually left a place of employment as they felt they did not have access to the latest digital tools to remain competitive within their industry. While this figure is not as high as the US (32%), it should still serve as a cause for concern for UK businesses especially given growing fears of an ever widening skills gap within the region, as well as the stiff competition to attract, and retain, the best talent on the global stage

Investment and Upskilling

Investment in digital tools is only half the battle. Organisations must also invest in their employees, ensuring that they have the skills and knowledge needed to make the best possible use of digital technology.

While employees recognise the need for digital tools, many are struggling to get the most out of them. Nearly a third (31%) believe new digital tools are making their jobs more stressful, while 30% claim it has made their role more difficult. Troublingly, 23% say they do not understand how to use the new digital tools their employer has provided. A comparison of this research across different regions found that the UK is the most pessimistic country when it comes to digital confidence, with just 24% feeling that they are able to make the most of digital tools, this is in stark comparison to both the US and Ireland who are the most confident – with 42% in both regions feeling assured in their use of digital technology.

Obstacles to Overcome

Over half (52%) of UK employees cite having the right technical skills as the biggest challenge hindering digital transformation, with receiving the right training coming second at 37%.

Meanwhile, 34% of workers complained they were not given enough or any training to get the most from the digital tools provided by their organisation, with nearly a quarter stating that the little training they do receive is not relevant or up to a good enough standard.

Keith Tilley, Executive Vice President, global sales & customer service management at Sungard Availability Services commented: “Digital tools, from mobile working solutions through to cloud-based collaboration applications can be a game-changer for businesses and a powerful tool for growth. However, while deploying these tools may fall to the IT department, they must be adopted across the entire organisation in order to have any real or lasting impact. From the C-Suite down, all employees must have the right tools and training they need if organisations are to implement an effective digital-first strategy. Not doing so would prove an own goal and undermine the investments made in people as well as technology.

“Happily, our research shows employees already understand the importance of digital transformation and are keen to learn more around the tools and techniques they will need in this new era of business. This is an important moment for the IT department, the CIO and their peers to further demonstrate the value they can offer. Not just in delivering digital tools, but also in offering the guidance and knowledge in helping employees to gain the most value from them. By doing so, they really will have a true digital transformation on their hands, and create a business ready to reap the rewards.”

Eddie Curzon, Regional Valley Director at CBI added:

“While technology is important, it is only part of a wider story. IT only does what it is told; its success depends entirely on the competency and acumen of those operating it. While employees understand the value of digital tools, it doesn’t necessarily mean they already have the skills in place to use them effectively. Businesses must take the time to invest in the workforce – closing any impending skills gap by offering staff the training they need.

And with employees now demanding the implementation of digital working practices, the impetus is with senior managers to ensure that everything is being done to answer these demands and provide the workforce with the tools needed to help the organisation thrive. As ever, businesses that listen to and act on the suggestions of their staff will prosper, while those who fail to heed employee demands place themselves at risk of familiar staff retention issues. As the research shows, technology is now a critical factor in keeping staff productive and fulfilled in their roles. Ignore this at your peril.”

The full report is available to download by visiting Tame the Bear.

About the Research

Research was conducted by Vanson Bourne, on behalf of Sungard Availability Services, to investigate attitudes towards digital transformation in five countries across the world, focusing on expected benefits, challenges and business demands. Interviews were conducted in April and May 2016 across two groups of respondents: IT decision makers (ITDMs) and employees from the wider business. The research questioned respondents from businesses of over 500 employees in the UK, US and France, and respondents from businesses with a minimum of 250 employees in Ireland and Sweden. These businesses operated in a variety of sectors, including financial services, professional services and retail.

Overall, 715 interviews were conducted online and over the telephone with ITDMs, including 153 from the UK, 205 from the US, 156 from France, 101 from Ireland and 100 from Sweden. At the same time, 1400 interviews were conducted online and over the telephone with general employees, including 300 from the UK, 400 from the US, 300 from France, 200 from Ireland and 200 from Sweden.

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About Sungard Availability Services:

Sungard Availability Services ("Sungard AS") is a leading provider of critical production and recovery services to global enterprise companies. Sungard AS partners with customers across the globe to understand their business needs and provide production and recovery services tailored to help them achieve their desired business outcomes.  Leveraging more than 40 years of experience, Sungard AS designs, builds and runs critical IT services that help customers manage complex IT, adapt quickly and build resiliency and availability. To learn more, visit or call 08082388080. Connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Media Contact/s

Hannah Macleod
Tel:  0207 592 1200

Karen Wentworth
Sungard Availability Services
Tel: 484-582-1354

Representing techUK (formerly Intellect), the trade association, Sungard AS helped define ISO 27036 – the IT standard relating to information security in supplier relationships (including cloud services) as a member of SC27.  Previously in a similar arrangement, Sungard AS helped develop both business continuity management standard BS 25999, now ISO 22301 and IT continuity management standard ISO 27031.  Within the UK, Sungard AS became the first business continuity provider to secure certification against the BS 25999 Standard, which it retained in 2010. Sungard AS is also certified to ISO 27001 and ISO 9001, and compliant with IGSoC, PCI DSS and ISAE3402.

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