Driving the adoption of digital technology

Driving the adoption of digital technology

The UK has the tools and tech to take on the productivity challenge. Let’s use them. 


There’s too big a gap between the productivity of the ‘best’ and the ‘rest’ of UK businesses. The biggest difference between them? The use of tried and tested digital technologies and management best practice.


The changes we're calling for


The UK needs more businesses with the skill and the will to adopt readily available technologies and management practices proven to lift productivity and pay – and we need the government to support their efforts. We’re calling on the government to develop the policies to ensure more firms get help to adopt innovations.

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    Make the wider take-up of innovation a central theme of the industrial strategy

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    Better finance adoption of proven technologies through Local Enterprise Partnerships and the Shared Prosperity Fund

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    Increase awareness of the technology that works through online resources and relevant campaigns


Why it's needed


The UK has a strong reputation for cutting-edge innovation, but investing more in R&D is only part of the battle. Once created, these innovations are not being taken up as quickly as they should be across the economy. 

Too many firms stick to what they know. And if they underinvest in readily available technology today – such as cloud, mobile and security technology – they are less likely to invest in the innovation that will shape the future and risk of falling even further behind.

Better adoption of existing technologies could help organisations across the UK streamline day-to-day functions. Fewer companies would spend time and resource reinventing the wheel. More firms could simply get on with business.

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"While the eyes of the business world can often be on ‘the next big thing’ in cutting edge technology, too many firms are missing out on what’s right under their nose. Failing to adopt the nuts and bolts technologies of today is leaving a yawning gap in productivity and pay between businesses."

Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General, CBI

Industry impact

Spreading the benefit

Greater take-up of innovation could transform the UK economy and help to address several societal challenges.

  • The additional value that could be unlocked for the UK economy by increasing business adoption of key technologies and management practices.

  • This would support a 5% reduction in income inequality.

  • Over half of the potential gains in productivity will come from firms adopting existing best practices.

Our progress and impact


The CBI campaigns tirelessly on behalf of our members so that business creates prosperity for all. Learn more about the work we do and the impact we are making on this issue.

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Support the change

  1. Are you a business leader?


    Join the CBI

    Our members are our mandate, and the reason we’re the most influential business organisation in the UK. Join the voice of business, and help us campaign to keep digital adoption a priority on the government agenda.

    Find out more
  2. Are you a CBI member?


    Have your say

    Help the CBI shape government policy to ease business' adoption of digital technology and boost efficiency.

    Get involved
  3. Are you a policymaker?


    Make a difference

    This campaign is led by the CBI's Innovation and Digital team.

    Contact Felicity Burch, Director of Innovation, to find out about the progress UK business urgently needs to adopt digital technology and how you can support it.

    Contact us