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December 8, 2010

UK businesses value technology benefits over cost savings: Virgin Media

36% say technology played a crucial role in making them more responsive

By CBR Staff Writer

UK businesses said that they placed more value on how technology helped them become trailblazers within their industry, rather than the immediate cost savings it can enable, according to a study by Virgin Media Business.

In its study of 5,000 businesses employing up to 250 people, Virgin Media showed businesses realised that investing in technology could help them weather the financial storm, with 36% saying it played a crucial role in making them more responsive.

Twenty per cent prioritised how it helped them respond to changing market conditions and 16% highlighted how it assisted them with customer demands.

Businesses across the UK recognise the role technology plays in driving an organisation’s success, with 23% of businesses saying they felt technology helped them to be more productive and efficient.

Twenty-four and 27% of businesses in the South East and London, respectively, said that the chief advantage of technology offered them was the ability to access new markets in the UK and overseas, the research said.

London businesses have been the fastest to tap into advancing technology to drive stronger engagement with their customers, with 47% of London businesses are already integrating new social media tools into their communications channels.

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The South East of UK showed similar levels of engagement with new media, with 44% having made extensive use of social networking and instant messenger in the workplace.

Virgin Media Business executive director for commercial Andrew McGrath said what really interested them about the results is how businesses are thinking about the wider benefits of investing in technology.

"They are looking at how technology works as an enabler to transform their business, looking beyond immediate cost saving towards the bigger picture of how it can improve the customer experience and establish brand loyalty," McGrath said.

"As we can see from the research, companies are rapidly embracing new technology to foster communities, create brand advocates and generate valuable dialogue with customers that inform their products and services.

"With that in mind, it’s reassuring to see that so many businesses are viewing technology far more than means to saving money but to drive their businesses forward."

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