The UK economy risks losing more than £9bn over the next 12 months unless it speeds up its uptake of smart technology, electronics giant Samsung has predicted.
Speaking at the company’s Insights Club meeting in London, Samsung UK’s president Andy Griffiths said there was a "smart deficit" in Britain, and that businesses and consumers were losing out by not using devices like smartphones and tablets in better ways.
"The smart deficit that we have identified through the Smart Society Barometer should act as a wake-up call for the technology industry and its partners,” Griffiths said.
"Smart technology adoption is happening and where it is being used most effectively, the benefits are already being felt both by individuals and businesses,” he said, stressing the importance of educating businesses about what they could gain from the implementation of smart technology.
The Smart Society Barometer was the result of a study of over 1,000 business and 2,500 consumers on how they use technology.
According to the report, more than a quarter of businesses have lost a client because they did not have the correct smart technology in place.
The IT managers interviewed by Samsung frequently cited reduced budget on new technology purchases and limited time to train staff to use the technology as the most frequent setbacks on the way to getting ‘smarter’.
Using the example of the company’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch, Griffiths’ colleague Graham Long explained how smart technology can improve business productivity.
"If you go into a store and look for an item of clothing, they might not have your size on the shelf," he said.
"Currently, you have to go and find a shop assistant, they have to go have a look out the back to see if they have your size. They then have to come back – they tell you they haven't got it – they don't know if they've got it in other stores.
"But now what we can do with some of our partners is, via the Galaxy Gear, they're able to be with you while you look around, they're able to check their inventory there and then in real-time on the Gear, and can notify someone to get it for you.”
However, Samsung said, employees using their personal devices has not proven beneficial for improved productivity. According to Samsung's report, companies that already made smart technology an integral part of their operations have reported savings up £75,000.
Griffiths said the study would become a regular feature and that the firm would use it as reference when creating consumer products too.