Turns out, the United States business industry isn’t as tech-friendly as you thought.
Based on data discovered by Sage, a research company, only 36 percent of U.S. businesses consider digital skills something worth investing in. This stat comes even as businesses claim that net connectivity and AI are “the most significant technologies” to their business’s success, Tech Republic reports.
The data comes form a worldwide survey Sage did of 3,000 companies, which found that the U.S. was least likely to invest in digital skills. The survey also found that only 61 percent of U.S. companies plan to put money towards digital skills to boost trade and profitability, with only 25 percent planning on investing “specifically in smart tech, AI, super fat broadband, or 5G.” Tech Republic says that this “poor productivity” will cost the U.S. economy $346 billion over the last 12 months.
Finally, Sage’s survey discovered that 41 percent of U.S. companies said that “digital skills are not important to their business strategy,” with only 25 percent saying that an investment in such skills might increase its opportunities for market entry.
Remedies to All These Red Flags
Kathy Lord, senior vice president at Sage People, said that the U.S.’s reputation for being progressive in technological advancements is critical, especially since “other countries often look to us for inspiration, and often our models are replicated in other countries.” As a result, the U.S. can take steps to get back into the ring as a top tech contender in the business vertical.
To start, Tech Republic says that U.S. businesses, and the government, should support business’s internal digital skills training; for example, Sage found that 23 percent of businesses found that the government should provide free digital skills training, and 31 percent feel tax breaks would add another layer of support.
Finally, investing in people and their digital skills, as well as compliance software for market-entry opportunities will also help U.S. businesses stay on par with its competitors. Doing so can help business decision makers free up their time to focus on other money–making ventures, like international trade, and help “solve the productivity puzzle.”
“As businesses around the world continue to face an increasingly competitive marketplace, the need for digital tools and skills has never been greater,” said Nancy Harris, managing director of Sage North America.