UK business leaders are stressing out over pace of technological change

86% of business leaders in the UK are suffering from ‘tech-related stress’ particularly in relation to AI and cybersecurity, so much so that it’s ruining their sleep, claims a report commissioned by BT.

Andrew Wooden

May 13, 2024

3 Min Read

‘Bytmares’, as the release opts to term the phenomenon, will lead to a ‘tech paralysis’ that could cost the economy £11.79 billion by 2030 as 104,000 British businesses opt to defer investment in tech transformation due to stress associated with the implementation, transformation and upskilling involved, claims the report.

The survey, conducted by Censuswide, canvassed 2,000 UK business decision makers and found that 88% of businesses are investing in new technology this year, be that in AI, cybersecurity, big data, or digital skills, and tech investment overall is set to increase 31% year-on-year. All of which sounds somewhat contradictory to the ‘tech paralysis’ warning, it has to be said.

62% recognised that digital and tech transformation is critical to the survival of their company, though 59% said tech is advancing so quickly that they worry about the future of their business. Financial services and HR are the sectors most concerned about the impact on their businesses this year, we’re told. 

Cybersecurity was seen as the biggest technological threat to businesses, though AI was cited as a ‘huge source of stress’ as well. Cited worries include data privacy and security (34%), as well as quality and reliability (29%), while 21% said it is an existential threat to their business.  

This salvo of stats is presented to us in order to announce that BT is teaming up with ex-Dragon Sarah Willingham and ‘meditation guru’ Izzy Judd to create The Business Reboot, described as a series of tech-inspired guided meditations to help businesses ‘hit the reset button before facing up to the tech challenges of the day.’

“Today, every business is a digital business – and our research shows that the pace of change is taking its toll,” said Bas Burger, CEO – Business at BT. “Our job is to make things easier: providing the rock-solid digital foundation businesses need to thrive. Together with former Dragon Sarah Willingham and meditation expert Izzy Judd, we’re helping business leaders get into the headspace to make the most of the tech opportunity. Whether that’s AI, digital skills or cybersecurity, BT’s got their back.”

Willingham added: “Dealing with change and uncertainty are two of the hardest things about running a business, and I’ve always found meditation really helps with that. It’s an essential part of my every day – without it, I won’t be as present or productive for myself or my team. With all the tech challenges businesses are facing this year, I want leaders to embrace the power of mindfulness and meditation in their working lives.” 

Sleepless nights and the efficacy of guided meditation to help navigate future business disruption at the hands of the rapidly evolving AI and security landscapes aside, it certainly seems these areas should be high on the list of things to keep on top of for business leaders.

A report earlier this month from Verizon claimed that security vulnerability exploitation nearly tripled in 2023. This was driven by the increasing frequency of attacks targeting vulnerabilities on unpatched systems and devices (known as zero-day vulnerabilities) by ‘ransomware actors’, we’re told.

Meanwhile it’s interesting to note that despite the positive rhetoric the big tech firms churn out as they race each other to accelerate AI development, many businesses seem worried about what impact the pace of change is ultimately going to have on their own fortunes, at least according to this survey.    

About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

Get the latest news straight to your inbox.
Register for the newsletter here.

You May Also Like