85% of European businesses believe new technology provides a competitive advantage, yet half say fear of failure prevents its implementation

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A major research project undertaken by Epson Europe, involving nearly 6,000 European businesses, reveals that 85% believe that fast implementation of new technology is a key competitive advantage, yet 50% say a fear of failure prevents it. According to the research, only a third of companies across Europe are prepared to grasp the competitive advantage offered by new technology by making investments ahead of the competition.

Along with 'fear of failure', European businesses not making the most of technology opportunities cited insufficient internal support (63%) and lack of funds (65%) as major barriers to new investment.

Significantly, a potential 21% productivity gain, achievable through improved technology implementation, was also identified by European businesses, reinforcing Epson's belief in the value of the innovative new business technologies it is now delivering across Europe.

"European businesses have an opportunity to invest wisely in order to enhance creativity, productivity and the overall efficiency of their business. The commercial returns can often be significant, but we understand the barriers companies' face and the reasons why they hesitate," says Rob Clark, vice president, Epson Europe. "Lack of internal support and fear of failure, in terms of getting it wrong, are common concerns; but with careful consideration of business needs, the identification of opportunities for improvement and careful product specification, these concerns can often be allayed and the business benefits reaped.

"Smart technology investments – whether on something as mainstream as a printer or projector, or on something more high-tech such as a wearable device – cannot go amiss in today's competitive environment. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for European businesses looking to increase efficiency, but with clear benefits on offer, there is a need for businesses to better understand the efficiency and productivity gains that the right new technologies can deliver."

Time to implement

Across the countries surveyed, an overwhelming 88% of European businesses agreed that technology improves productivity after a bedding in period. The question of how long this takes was a major difference among the countries and sectors explored. Overall, German and Italian businesses are able to make new technology work faster for them, with an average 12 week lead-time between implementation and productivity improvements being seen. On the other hand, French businesses are slowest at getting new technology to deliver productivity gains, averaging a four and a half month lead-time.

When it comes to industry differentiators, those in the Retail industry ranked the fastest, taking only 12 weeks to generate productivity improvements from new technology, followed by Education (at 15 weeks) and Healthcare (at 16 weeks).

Clark adds, "At this time of year, when 2015 budgets are likely being discussed and allocated, EU businesses must carefully consider how IT budgets are strategically spent. The return on investment in terms of the enhanced efficiency and accelerated productivity should be a key priority for EU businesses looking to maintain that competitive edge."

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