February 5, 2021
More than two-thirds of FM leaders resistant to technology progress
Outdated attitudes towards technology amongst senior facilities management business leaders are at risk of jeopardising future business survival, claims new research by Sigma Dynamics. The Connected Enterprise report claims that 71 percent of C-suite executives, directors and senior managers are sceptical about the benefits of implementing new business technology.
Exploring this scepticism, the research suggests that 64 percent are doubtful that it improves efficiency, 71 percent cynical about its ability to improve productivity, and 79 percent question its positive impact on customer relationships.
Interestingly, 13 percent think technology can cause problems if not implemented carefully, while 8 percent worry that the cost often outweighs the benefits, and another 8 percent believe the traditional way of operating is more effective.
Colin Crow, managing director of Sigma Dynamics, commented: “From these statistics we can infer that many senior businesspeople in the facilities management industry that have been burned by previous digital transformation efforts. It is unfortunately quite common for businesses to choose the wrong technologies, or roll them out without enough support for employees, which can be very costly mistakes.
“Some of these misconceptions are therefore understandable, but as the twin threats of Brexit and the COVID-19 have shown us over the past year, the business landscape can change with incredible speed.
“It will soon become almost impossible for businesses to thrive”
“Organisations must be agile and open-minded in order to cope with the impact of these, and other, national and global challenges that we will all inevitably face, and it will soon become almost impossible for businesses to thrive without the help of strategically planned and implemented technological innovations. However, from our research it’s frustratingly clear that these events still have not served as a wake-up call for complacent business leaders.”
The report also claims that more than two-thirds (71 percent) of those surveyed believe that Brexit will have an impact on their customers’ demands and expectations over the next five years, while 59 percent think that the pandemic will, suggesting that the vast majority are conscious of some of the difficulties that potentially lie ahead.
However, 40 percent said that they don’t believe that changes in customer demands and expectations will require the adoption of more business technology, and only half think that events such as Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic have made business technology more essential to success. Just a fifth (21 percent) said that they believe they will have to implement more technology in order to remain competitive.
Applied futurist, Tom Cheesewright, added: “COVID-19 catalysed investment in technology, but that investment was often overdue. If we are to avoid playing catch-up when the next challenge hits – or the next opportunity appears – then we should be thinking now about what changes to our technology, processes, culture and models can best prepare us for the future. Making the right investments in technology, and skills, is a critical part of future-proofing any business, adding resilience and agility.”