72% of businesses in Europe face tech deficit

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A research report commissioned by Colt Technology Services has identified a tech deficit, which affects almost three quarters (72%) of European businesses. This tech deficit leads to a gap between what businesses need to achieve and what their infrastructure can support.

When compared with their European counterparts, UK companies are amongst the most prepared with 64% citing they face a moderate or significant tech deficit. According to the research findings, the best prepared country is Spain, with 62% of companies facing a tech deficit, compared with 81% of German companies.

Two thirds (66%) of companies say that the channel will play an important role in closing the technology gap. The research also demonstrates that there is an opportunity for resellers to further deepen relationships with their customers, as three quarters (76%) of companies see their resellers as partners rather than just suppliers for the IT organisation. The research also points to a move towards more consolidation of suppliers and strategic partners, with 63% of respondents stating they see benefit in a single supplier model that provides a range of different IT service and infrastructure options.

Falk Weinreich, Executive Vice President at Colt, says: "Our research shows that businesses prefer to deal with suppliers that provide a range of different IT service and infrastructure options. This is a great opportunity for IT consultants and VARs to sell a complete portfolio of solutions instead of individual services to maximise revenue per customer. The channel should empower businesses to tackle the tech deficit with solutions that offer built in flexibility without CAPEX outlays. Strengthening their infrastructure foundations will be businesses' top priority over the next two years, and we are confident that our channel partners across Europe will play a pivotal role in helping organisations to address the tech deficit."

The majority of European organisations highlight that their infrastructure foundations need to evolve over the next two years to meet future business needs - including voice and communications (88%), data centre infrastructure (90%) and network infrastructure (85%).
Further UK data highlights from The Tech Deficit research include:

  • A third (34%) think their current infrastructure is future ready and scalable to support the peaks, troughs and complexity of demand over the next two years, compared to one in four in Europe (26%),
  • Half (50%) state they are not currently ready, but have a strategy in place to address this, in line with the European average (51%),
  • 14% of organisations say they have no strategy in place, whereas the European average is one in five (20%),
  • Half of European organisations (50%) believe they have only a year before they will be unable to manage and mitigate risk for the business. The UK is the least affected country, with 39% of businesses expecting to fall short on this area, compared with 56% in Switzerland.

The research indicates that simplification and automation is the preferred route for infrastructure evolution, with 60% of European respondents looking for increased simplicity in their infrastructure. The use of a service based model is expected to become increasingly important in the next two years, with Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Software-as-as-Service, and data centre colocation expected to grow by 52%, 55% and 33% respectively. The research also points to a move towards more consolidation of suppliers and strategic partners, with 63% of respondents stating they see benefit in a single supplier model that provides a range of different IT service and infrastructure options.

Based on the research findings, Colt has identified three key trends for European businesses:

  1. Service based delivery will help change how businesses think about owning infrastructure, moving away from buying technology and embracing a service based model.
  2. Flexibility will drive business models and commercial arrangements. Businesses will seek out suppliers that enable them to manage change.
  3. Simplification of processes will empower the IT department: moving to the cloud, consolidating suppliers and identifying strategic partners.

Research Methodology

852 European technology decision makers completed an online interview in April 2014. UK, French, German and Dutch respondents are equally split between SMEs (50-500 employees) and enterprises (more than 500 employees); Belgian, Italian, Spanish and Swiss respondents are taken from companies with more than 100 employees. Research conducted by Loudhouse, an independent research agency based in London.

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