Among the fledgeling groups that Klein is involved with are the much-hyped London-based web start-ups Songkick, a gigs listing site, and AlertMe, a home-energy monitoring service. But while he believes that Britain’s tech scene is thriving in many ways, fast becoming a world leader in internet innovation, there is one place where the digital revolution is not breaking through: Britain’s biggest businesses.
He argues that major corporations are not taking the rise of new technologies seriously enough — as shown by the lack of chief technology officers in the upper echelons of some of this country’s most established companies. “When you look at the FTSE 100, we have a real problem,” says Klein, before rattling off the numbers to back up his argument.
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“Attitudes are changing fast,” said Michael Kempe, chief development officer and a board member at Capita Registrars, the share registration service. “If you go back two or three years, the attitude of board members to digital technology was not what it is now. What we’ve seen in the past 12 months is almost a revolution.”
If this revolution is indeed taking place, it is moving slowly. A report from the software company CA, released last summer, found the attitude of boards towards technological innovation somewhat lacking. According to the paper, The Future Role of the CIO: Digital Literacy Amongst Senior Executives, 80% of chief information officers were concerned that their top-level management teams were not “fully digitally literate”.
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