UK Ready for ‘Digital by Default’

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A new study from Fujitsu has revealed that UK consumers are ready for a nation that is digital by default. Over a fifth of us will always opt for a digital-first approach, when a digital service is offered. Driven by a desire to speed up (66%) and simplify (62%) everyday processes, the results show a digitally confident nation, one that is seeking to move faster towards a digital future (39%) and that would vote for a political party if it focussed on digital policies (20%).

Financial services was the standout sector when it came to digital services currently offered, topping the table in terms of importance of (62%) and satisfaction with (64%) according to consumers. This was followed by retail where satisfaction in the services offered is 60%. When examining individual digital services used in our everyday lives, online banking and online shopping reign supreme as the most used (67% and 66% respectively) and valued (63%) across the nation; but also in the importance placed on them by consumers.

The research suggests a burgeoning confidence amongst Brits getting to grips with digital services, with nearly two-thirds (63%) commenting that they were comfortable with the digital services offered to them by organisations overall.

“We are speeding towards a digital-first Britain. From click and collect through to renewing our road tax online, the wealth of digital services available has driven great behavioural change in the UK,” said Michael Keegan, Chief Executive Officer UK & Ireland, Fujitsu. “We are now more confident in our ability to use the services offered, we understand the benefits and as such, it is consumers themselves pushing organisations to create a digital future.”

Yet, while there were clear cut winners in the race to digital stardom, there are still many barriers which are preventing the UK becoming a truly digital-first nation. Looking at sectors, Brits were quick to point out those they would like to see further improvement in, with both Local (24%) and, to a lesser extent, Central Government (20%) named as the two key sectors that must improve quickly to remain relevant.

While vertical sectors have work to do on their digital offerings, talking to those who never use digital services (12%) a myriad of issues blocking a digital future appear. Over a third (37%) simply prefer human interaction, while one in five had concerns about security and 15% felt they were too complicated and didn’t know how to use them.

“While Britain is on the right path for digital greatness, the message here is clear – education is essential. For Britain to become truly ‘digital by default’ organisations from the Government to private organisation bodies, must work together to ensure digital inclusion is a reality for all,” said Neil Crockett, CEO, Digital Catapult. “Only by collaborating and facing this issue head-on can we ensure Britain becomes a digital-first nation, taking its place on the world stage as a leader in digital services and an example to the rest of the world.”

Education is key to ensuring the future of digital is secure in the UK, and for many, is something that is currently lacking. Only a quarter (26%) felt that enough was being done across the UK to educate citizens on digital services, while 54% said they would like to see the Government do more to prepare us for a digital future. A third of respondents said they believe the organisation providing the service should be the one to educate them.

“The UK’s digital future is, in some ways, just beginning. For it to continue at this pace, organisations have a responsibility to continue creating digital services that simplify the customer experience,” continued Michael Keegan, Chief Executive Officer, UK & Ireland, Fujitsu. “At the same time, there is little evidence to suggest that the UK will become a digital-only nation; instead, citizens have shown a desire for access to a wealth of services, across all channels, enabling them to make their own decisions on the digital services they adopt and when they chose to do so.”