The CBI/Aecom Infrastructure Survey 2016 has revealed that the vast majority of businesses believe that reliable digital connections are vital to their companies. Greater reliability and robustness of digital connectivity ranks top of business users’ requirements, with 96% of firms viewing this as critical or important for fixed-line and mobile networks.
Speaking to BIM+ David Philp, global BIM consultancy director at Aecom, explained the results of the survey: “The vast majority of respondents to the survey see greater reliability and robustness of mobile and fixed-line networks as essential to their future business operations. This is hardly surprising given that digital technology is such a vital enabler of productivity and economic growth.
The report states that business is happy with the pace of improvement in the UK’s digital networks, with three quarters of firms believing that the UK’s digital networks have improved over the past five years.
Importance to business of improvements in UK mobile digital infrastructure (%)
However, currently almost a third of businesses (32%) say their fixed-line broadband doesn’t meet their needs, and one in five SMEs report they don’t have the best connection available to them.
With the digital revolution in full swing the CBI and Aecom believe it is essential that digital networks continue to improve and would like the government to prioritise the roll out of quality, business-dedicated broadband, alongside consumer broadband.
This is something that UK businesses are confident will happen with over half (59%) of the respondents expecting them to improve further still in the next five years.
Business dissatisfaction with fixed-line broadband by region (%)
Philp continues: “The UK must remain at the forefront of digitalisation if it is to maintain its global competitiveness. The National Infrastructure Commission’s assessment and recommendations for 5G deployment must be a priority if the country is to maximise the opportunity and establish an early advantage over Asian and North American markets.
“As the global digital revolution continues to gather pace, the UK will need to maintain a leading position. This is certainly true for the built environment sector. The emergence of BIM and immersive technologies are transforming the way we work, enabling a more advanced, technology-driven and diverse industry.
“It is an opportunity to drive innovation that will be critical to future productivity and competitiveness, not just for businesses operating in the sector but also for clients.”
Main image: Suprijono Suharjoto/Dreamstime.com
The vast majority of respondents to the survey see greater reliability and robustness of mobile and fixed-line networks as essential to their future business operations.– David Philp, global BIM consultancy director, Aecom