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November 26, 2015

5 tech reactions to Osborne’s Autumn Statement

List: With digital transformation on George Osborne's agenda, tech reacts to the Autumn statement.

By Charlotte Henry

With tech featured heavily in George Osborne’s Autumn Statement, the industry has been reacting to some of the key measures laid out by the Chancellor:

1. Apprenticeships

Regina Moran, CEO UK & Ireland, Fujitsu said: "We are very supportive of government plans for three million new apprenticeships to help develop the UK’s skills base and drive long-term productivity. And perhaps a levy is the right way to fund it.

"But we cannot support any restrictions in how we train our staff. A one-size-fits-all approach is simply not going to work. We too want to tackle skills shortages and drive up productivity, but the apprenticeship levy risks having the reverse effect."

2. Digital transformation

Tim Medforth, SVP, Appirio: "Before this transformation begins, organisations need to take the time to make sure they have a plan in place to get their employees on side and to ensure they are using the right technology to fit their business needs.

"Setting methodologies and putting a plan in place to stick to them, understanding how to best use technologies such as the cloud and working with the right partners will help ensure these transformations are successful and that the public sector makes the most of this funding."

3. GDS funding boost

Allan Paton, Regional Vice President UK and Ireland – Riverbed Technology said: The Government Digital Service (GDS) has a huge task ahead – the disparate departments they support need to work closely together to ensure they have the right visibility, control and optimisation capabilities within their networks and applications to guarantee migration can happen successfully in time for 2020."

4. Digitising HMRC

Ed Molyneux, CEO of FreeAgent said "I’m glad to see the government has committed £1.3Bn in investment to the digitisation of HMRC. The result should be a more efficient, streamlined HMRC that is also better able to focus its resources on chasing down genuine tax avoidance.

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"It’ll also dramatically reduce the burden of tax compliance – which is disproportionately shouldered by the very small businesses that we support at FreeAgent. In a world where everything – from shopping to banking – is done online or via smartphone, this is an area which has been long overdue for reinvention."

5. Cyber security spend confirm

Lee Wade, CEO, Exponential-e: "Giving organisations the intelligence they need to fend off attacks through a national cyber centre is a positive first step. When combined with a dedicated platform for increasing cyber skills and by forging closer relationships with internet service providers, the UK will be in a much stronger position to power its defence.

"Capitalising on this support will involve businesses taking proactive steps towards their own cyber security future-proofing. Delivering on-service level agreements and protecting customer data as well as corporate assets will mean carefully selecting and investing in partnerships to bolster security expertise."

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