Failure to exploit information loses UK economy £67 billion a year

| Press release

Capgemini UK plc today released ‘The Information Opportunity’ a report highlighting the estimated annual costs associated with frustrated decision making across UK businesses and public sector organisations. The report, based on in-depth interviews with senior leaders from the FTSE350 and UK public sector organisations, finds that a broken information culture – that is, the values and behaviours associated with how they collect, use, manage and share information  – is endemic in the UK and is believed to suppress performance by an average of 29 per cent. This equates to an annual £46 billion missed opportunity for private sector profits, and £21 billion in administrative costs across the public sector.

Ramesh Harji, Head of Information Exploitation at Capgemini UK, commented: “We found C-level executives freely admitting failings in their organisational information culture. Failure to properly exploit information is keeping Britain’s bosses in the dark and affecting our international competitiveness.”

Three key factors are identified in the report as suppressing business performance:

  • Frustrated decision making – 63 per cent of survey respondents faced making crucial business decisions without the correct information on a daily basis, whilst 28 per cent experienced this frustration up to five times a day. This is predicted to get worse as 93 per cent of those interviewed report a significant increase over the last five years in the number of critical business decisions they are being asked to make.
  • Information islands – Organisations face growing volumes of information on which to base decisions, 36 per cent of respondents report a doubling in the volume of information available to them over the past five years. Executives agree that a failure to share this mounting information include financial losses (46 per cent of respondents) and increased operational costs (also 46 per cent).
  • Fragmented truths – Failure to obtain a single version of the “truth” was identified by 46% of respondents as a key reason for an organisation’s failure to innovate, with many firms holding multiple versions of the same data often within the same departments. 

Collectively this “information frustration” results in a 29 per cent hit to British organisational performance with business decision makers highlighting increased operational costs (47 per cent of those interviewed), financial losses (43 per cent), reputation damage (40 per cent) and loss of customers (38 per cent) as the major consequences.

Harji added: “Organisations are generating increasing volumes of information, but this simply isn’t reaching decision makers in time. The UK must begin to value information as a business asset and in doing so ensure that any investments in IT solutions are not just quick fixes, but actively enhance and improve the information culture.”

80 per cent of business decision makers see addressing the “Information Opportunity” as a crucial driver of business performance, with 55 per cent of respondents listing it as one of their top three priorities for their organisations. Encouragingly 85 per cent of those questioned felt that investment in information culture was already delivering value for money and the report recommends three priority areas for further investment:

  • Staff skills – Organisations must establish information exploitation as a critical skill for their employees. This change is vital with the report attributing information “silos” to staff mindsets that “knowledge is power”. Just under a third (31 per cent) of those questioned identified staff skills and organisational policies as key barriers to effective information exploitation.
  • Corporate Asset – The report recommends that organisations treat information as a strategic corporate asset and invest accordingly. Delivery of an effective information culture should be driven by the business, throughout the business. Interestingly, 9 out the top 10 barriers to information exploitation were non-systems related. Major non-systems related barriers identified included: information quality (36 per cent), policies and procedures (32 per cent), information security (31 per cent), staff skills (31 per cent) and user culture (30 per cent).
  • Leadership – The creation and maintenance of an effective information culture must be led from the top, with CEOs instilling a more disciplined approach to managing business critical information in their workforces.  A significant minority of decision makers reported a lack of leadership (23 per cent) and clear roles and responsibilities (18 per cent) in managing information within their organisations.

About Capgemini

Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, enables its clients to transform and perform through technologies. Capgemini provides its clients with insights and capabilities that boost their freedom to achieve superior results through a unique way of working - the Collaborative Business Experience - and through a global delivery model called Rightshore®, which aims to offer the right resources in the right location at competitive cost. Present in 36 countries, Capgemini reported 2007 global revenues of EUR 8.7 billion and employs over 83,000 people worldwide.

More information is available at www.uk.capgemini.com.

Press contacts:

Tom Barton

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Email: tom.barton@capgemini.co.uk

James Ralph

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Email: james.ralph@redconsultancy.com