The digital solution to Britain’s productivity gap

Once again, the latest UK labour productivity figures showed how its productivity gap continues to grow. Indeed, the difference between British productivity and the remaining members of the G7 group of industrial nations is now the greatest since modern records started in the early 1990s.

[easy-tweet tweet=”The latest UK labour productivity figures showed that the productivity gap continues to grow”]

And while there have been improvements with regards to employment with the unemployment rate falling to 5.2 per cent last year, the lowest in nearly a decadea clear challenge for both businesses and policymakers is how to get more output out of every hour worked. 

The government is acutely aware of and working to tackle what Sajid Javid named “the economic challenge of our age”. Last July, a mix of deregulation and government intervention across apprenticeships, universities, skills, housing, transport and finance were announced to try to address Britain’s poor productivity performance.

However what was not mentioned is a key element which could be a game changer in British productivity. For many professional occupations, IT and access to data is often cited as significantly hampering the ability for workers to achieve their full potential. Indeed, new research from Nimble Storage on the app data gap revealed that 61 per cent of Brits surveyed believe the speed of the applications they use significantly affects their ability to perform best at work. 

And with organisations of all sizes modernising and transforming in order to expand their capabilities and progress digital projects, applications are becoming an ever-more crucial part of our professional experience. Companies frequently rely on hundreds – if not thousands – of applications to power every conceivable business process, from sales and marketing, to product development.

But the success of these new digital processes depends on uninterrupted, rapid access to data. When the delivery of data to applications is disrupted, it creates a gap which may negatively impact the user’s experience, the business outcome, and ultimately hinders organisational effectiveness. Overcoming this “App-Data Gap” is therefore essential to all businesses hoping to drive greater productivity.

The App-Data Gap is a significant blight across the UK, with 94 per cent of British IT staff admitting to experiencing delays when accessing and inputting information while using business software applications at work. While another 42 per cent estimate that they waste between 10 to 30 minutes a day on application response delays.

So for companies looking to drive greater productivity from staff, managers need to look beyond positive cultural changes and also consider how the IT infrastructure that they are providing their workers can have an important impact.

And although frequently perceived solely as a storage issue, in more than half of cases examined by Nimble Storage, application breakdowns stemmed from complex infrastructures, which then created the app data gap that disrupted the data delivery – ultimately meaning information was not instantly available and slowed down the process.

So it’s important that organisations that look to their IT infrastructure to improve productivity address the issue head-on. Companies must look to new technologies that incorporate both flash-optimised architectures and predictive analytics to respond to concerns as they arise. This not only will help organisations anticipate and rapidly resolve complex issues, avert hot spots, and simplify planning, but will enable them to make long-term predictions around their storage capacity and performance, and plan to make improvements seamlessly and non-disruptively.

[easy-tweet tweet=”In more than half of examined cases, application breakdowns stemmed from complex infrastructures”]

Improving productivity is essential both to organisations individually and to the greater economy. It is therefore important that companies look to digital solutions to address a decrease in productivity. And with digital process driving so much of British industry, it is essential that unproductive processes are rectified to reduce workers’ frustration and immediately enable employees to save wasted time and – ultimately -be more productive.

Paul Scarrott, Marketing Director EMEA at Nimble Storage

Paul Scarrott joined Nimble Storage as the Marketing Director for EMEA in December 2014. Across a number of years he has acquired a wealth of expertise on enterprise software, cloud technology, corporate communications and integrated marketing.

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