Managed.IT - issue 58

6 01732 759725 London an ideal launchpad for global start-ups London has one of the world’s best ecosystems for globally ambitious start-ups, second only to Silicon Valley, according to The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2020 from Startup Genome. This year’s study puts London in joint second place (with New York), up from joint third place last year and ahead of Beijing (4th) and Boston (5th). In the inaugural report in 2012, London was ranked eighth. Factors that make London an ideal launchpad to scale and grow internationally include its favourable time zone; high levels of connectedness between different ecosystems (e.g. medtech, edtech and fintech); good access to capital and investment – an average seed round in London is $650k, compared to $494k globally; and a strong, global talent pool thanks in part to the startup visa program launched in 2019. Since 1990, London’s startup ecosystem has produced 38 unicorns (companies valued at over $1bn), more than any other city in Europe, according to analysis by Dealroom. bulletin Digital transformation advances by five years in just three months Covid-19 has accelerated companies’ digital communications strategies by an average of 5.3 years in the UK, according to a new study by cloud communications platform provider Twilio. In its survey of enterprise decision-makers, 96% of UK respondents said that the pandemic had sped up their company’s digital transformation, with 66% claiming it had done so ‘a great deal’. The COVID-19 Digital Engagement Report highlights the extent to which Covid-19 has broken down traditional barriers to adoption, with 77% saying it has led to increases in their digital transformation budget – ‘dramatically’ so for 36% of respondents. UK respondents also report an easing of barriers, such as lack of a clear strategy (37%), getting executive approval (35%), reluctance to replace legacy software (35%) and lack of time (33%). Glenn Weinstein, Chief Customer Officer at Twilio, said: “Over the last few months, we’ve seen years- long digital transformation roadmaps compressed into days and weeks in order to adapt to the new normal as a result of COVID-19. Our customers in nearly every industry have had to identify new ways to communicate with their customers and stakeholders essentially overnight. We believe the solutions being built today will be the standard for digital engagement in the future.” Twilio surveyed 2,500 enterprise decision-makers, of which 300 were in the UK. Coronavirus boosts cloud infrastructure investment A survey of 250 IT leaders in the UK, US and Canada by Snow Software, a provider of technology intelligence solutions, highlights the extent to which the coronavirus pandemic and recession are changing organisations’ use of technology. More than three quarters (82%) say they have increased their cloud usage as a result of lockdown and 60% plan to continue to increase it now that people are returning to their workplaces. Two thirds (66%) say they plan to carry on using the cloud services and applications implemented during the crisis. Snow Software points out that although video meeting apps (e.g. Zoom, Cisco WebEx and GoToMeeting) and communication apps (e.g. Slack, Teams and Google Chat) grabbed the headlines, being cited as ‘lifesavers’ by 73% and 65% of respondents respectively, the biggest contributor to the increase in cloud usage is cloud infrastructure, with 76% of respondents increasing their use of cloud platforms, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and private cloud. Snow Software adds that the experience of lockdown and the economic outlook have caused 91% to alter their cloud strategy, with twice as many planning to accelerate cloud migration (45%) and digital transformation (41%) compared to people putting those initiatives on hold (22% and 21% respectively). Risk of IT outages higher if cloud migration is put on hold The 30% of enterprises that halted cloud migration during the COVID-19 pandemic were two and a half times more likely to have experienced IT outages that negatively impacted their SLAs than those that continued their journey, reveals a new study by Virtana. The Current State of Hybrid Cloud and IT report also reveals that IT professionals who stopped their company’s cloud migration process were twice as likely to over-provision to ensure performance. Glenn Weinstein UK workers struggle to master digital tools Workers in the UK’s 43,000 medium-sized businesses each waste 28 minutes per day, or 112 working hours over the course of a year, struggling with digital programmes or tools they don’t know how to use properly. Yet, 81% still feel that digital tools make working life better, more productive and more efficient. According to The Modern Worklife report from UX design and development agency Sigma, UK workers use an average of four digital tools in their working lives, with 6% using more than nine. modernworklife/