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  • Uttam Mishra

A £48 billion opportunity for UK businesses

Productivity in UK has stagnated since 2008-2009 and the productivity gap, when compared with the other G7 economies, is 15.1% below the average.

The reasons for productivity challenges are researched and argued extensively but, irrespective of the causes, the problem of productivity growth is a reality which has only been aggravated by COVID-19.

We are still in the middle of this pandemic and, whilst the vaccine rollout gives us reason to be hopeful, it will still take some time before we return to normal. It will also take time to measure and understand the true impact that COVID-19 has had on British businesses as the current government support is providing the crucial aid to keep businesses alive. However, once the furlough and other government schemes come to an end, the landscape might look very different for these businesses.

According to a new model of competitiveness devised by Dr Chris Brauer at Goldsmiths, University of London in partnership with Microsoft found that nearly half (46%) of British organisations fall into the worst performing category, posing a real threat to UK prosperity.

This model from August 2020 used data from the first lockdown and has made very clear the impact of COVID-19 on UK businesses, productivity and, ultimately, on prosperity.


Businesses and sectors have not been equally impacted by COVID-19, this pandemic has opened opportunities for businesses in certain sectors and it is important to understand the reasons behind that.

It is very clear from the research data that the lack of productivity growth and innovation in the last decade has greatly contributed to the current state. At the same time the same study also shows that 5% increase in productivity could create a £48 billion boost to UK economy.

In the post-COVID world, this productivity boost is possible using Talent, Technology and Future readiness.

Most organisations have traditionally taken small steps to deliver incremental transformations, however, the time for taking cautious and measured steps is over.

Future will favour the brave; most organisations have done incredible transformations during COVID-19 out of compulsion, but now is the time to plan and embrace bold and decisive transformations. Smart digital solutions are the future, and, for most businesses, our current reality could reveal itself to be a tangible opportunity. What can an organisation do?

  • Invest in people and skills: utilise external resources to acquire skills and capabilities in the short term, and plan for transitions to in-house by training your staff and accelerating skills growth.

  • Invest in new advance technologies like IoT, AI, Low code, Cloud, 5G and edge computing to create smart digital solutions.

  • Create new and innovative channels to engage and serve your clients digitally.

Next Steps

You can find the details about the new competitiveness model and associated research work here.

Wondering how the recommendations of this report could be applied in your business to improve productivity? Schedule a call with one of our consultants to walk you through the options and associated ROI’s.

If you are planning to undertake a transformation or are actively engaged in a transformation journey, have a look at our readiness assessment tool here to evaluate your current state and design success blueprints for a step-by-step guide to ensure successful transformation.

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