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Microsoft: There’s no need to be scared of digital transformation

(Image credit: Image Credit: Chombosan / Shutterstock)

British businesses are being held back from progress due to the fear surrounding digital transformation, new research has found.

A nationwide study by Microsoft found that just under half (49 per cent) of companies said they feared the change that comes with digital transformation, in spite of the wide range of benefits that embracing these new services and tools could bring.

Sixty-one per cent of workers said that they felt anxious when new technology was brought into the workplace by bosses, while 59 per cent  were worried about the impact the automation of tasks would have on their job.

Perhaps reflecting this wariness, the study, revealed at Microsoft’s Future Decoded event in London today, found just over half (53 per cent) of British businesses were investing in digital transformation programmes, and that only less than a quarter (23 per cent) of companies are investing in cultural change programmes to help their workforces adapt to the “fourth industrial revolution”.

Microsoft said that the results of the study, entitled “Creating a Culture of Digital Transformation”, was a worrying sign of how British businesses could be set to fall further behind their international compatriots.

“Digital transformation is not just a technology deployment or an IT exercise, it’s a people exercise. Leaders of all organisations must therefore embrace cultural transformation from the top and explore the behavioural shifts needed to bring about lasting change,” said Cindy Rose (opens in new tab), Microsoft UK Chief Executive. 

“This comprehensive report shows there is a deep-rooted connection between those organisations that invest in nurturing cultural change and those that are able to fully unlock the value of their technology investments.”

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro, and has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and ITProPortal.