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UK firms are getting anxious about embracing new technology, despite the benefits on offer

UK firms are getting anxious about embracing new technology, despite the benefits on offer

A recent study by BT has revealed a pervasive sense of unease among business leaders when it comes to new and emerging technologies.

The company’s research found the majority (86%) of company directors suffer from so-called ‘bytemares’ – tech-induced stress that affects the quality of directors’ sleep.

Among the concerns expressed by business leaders were cybersecurity and artificial intelligence – two key topics that have increasingly come into the spotlight in recent years.

Business leaders are nervous about developing technologies

The relentless pace of technological evolution in the workplace is to blame for leaders’ headaches, with nearly nine in 10 (88%) stating that technology is a significant source of their stress. That’s despite three in five (62%) noting that digital transformation is paramount for their company’s survival.

Apart from its effects on workers and leaders, BT suggests that 104,000 British companies may forego new technology investments due to the associated stresses tied to implementing, transforming and upskilling. What BT is calling ‘tech paralysis’ would ultimately end up costing the UK economy £11.8 billion by 2030.

Three in four business leaders cited artificial intelligence as a stress for themselves, with many concerned about data privacy and security, quality and reliability, and its potential to pose an existential threat to their business.

Business at BT CEO Bas Burger commented: “Today, every business is a digital business – and our research shows that the pace of change is taking its toll.”

In order for leaders to address their stress, BT believes practising mindfulness and meditation could help to put their minds at ease.

According to BT’s research, more than half (57%) of business leaders already practice meditation at least once per week, with one in 10 (11%) doing so daily.

BT Business Reboot series host Izzy Judd added: “Just taking a few minutes to step away from the to-do list, connect your body and mind, and reset your priorities, can provide a huge boost to clarity and concentration, while enabling you to feel calmer.”

BT’s new ‘The Business Reboot’ guided meditation series, designed for business leaders, will include episodes focused on AI, cybersecurity, data analytics, digital skills and cloud computing. Audio meditations will be available free of charge to everyone.

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