Automation drive broadly positive say London businesses.


Tuesday 29 May 2018

London businesses are expecting an increase in productivity and higher quality products thanks to automation, but also warn that it could lead to a loss of jobs.

The findings are the results of a London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) commissioned survey of more than 500 business about what impact they expected automation to have on their businesses over the next five years.

The majority of businesses did not see the new technology making a major impact in their own businesses for the next five years, but those changes that were expected were largely favourable – although there were also fears of an increase in business costs.

The survey carried out by ComRes on behalf of LCCI found:

  • 31% of London businesses expect that over the next five years automation will lead to an increase of their business’ productivity compared to 7% who expect it will lead to a decline in productivity.
  • 22% expect that automation will lead to an increase in quality of their products and/or services (compared to 7% who expect a decrease).
  • 17% expect that it will lead to an increase in training (11% expect a decrease).
  • 24% of London businesses expect that automation will lead to an increase in their business’ costs (16% expect a decrease).
  • 15% expect that it will lead to a reduction in their number of employees (6% expect a rise).

Policy director of LCCI Sean McKee said: “There have been a lot of alarmist theories thrown around, but the truth is that to some extent automation is inevitable, although not immediate and in some industries more so than it others.

“As the businesses surveyed have recognised it is likely to have some very positive impacts including an increase in productivity and customers are likely to receive a better quality product or service which may mitigate a rise in the costs where there is any.

“However what is also noteworthy here is that most businesses do not expect to see any impact for the next five years, giving businesses plenty of time to plan where necessary.”
 

ENDS

Media contact
Katharine Barney
T: +44 (0)20 7203 1897                        
M: +44 (0)7827 241528
E: kbarney@londonchamber.co.uk

NOTES TO EDITOR:

  • London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is the capital’s largest and most representative business organisation, with members ranging in size from multi-national companies to SMEs and sole traders.
  • Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive and Sean McKee, Director of Policy are available for further comment and interview.
  • ComRes online survey for LCCI of 561 London business leaders, weighted to be representative of all London businesses by company size and broad industry sector. fieldwork was conducted between 15 February and 15 March 2018. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.  Full data tables are available at www.comresglobal.com.