The lack of ubiquitous mobile connectivity in Britain is impeding economic growth, according to the UK CIO of accountancy firm Deloitte.
Matt Peers, IT head at Deloitte, told Computer Weekly that having strong 3G coverage across the country was a greater priority for companies than the forthcoming roll-out of 4G.
“3G is probably good enough for staff to work remotely but it needs to be 3G at full strength, and not the one bar you often get at the moment,” Peers said.
“We will see a huge economic benefit from that, especially when you look at the downtime involved of people trying to connect things. I look at the number of escalated calls from people trying to do certain things, such as pick up a document on their mobile phone and transfer it.
"There’s so much time wasted because the technology just doesn’t work.”
One of the big challenges is around data security, he said: “We have a lot of clients, we need to make sure client data is safe and secure at all times. So we don’t want people to lose a laptop on the way home or for it to become corrupt. Even though everything we have is encrypted – that would cause inconvenience.
“We want to live in a world where we don’t hold any data on those devices, where instead it’s held on our servers.”
Peers said Deloitte will be partnering with Citrix to deploy virtual desktops. “But ubiquitous connectivity is the one piece of the missing jigsaw. When people are in our offices or Starbucks, this stuff works perfectly. But of course there are certain gaps in connectivity at the moment.
“I’m hoping that we will get there. But it all gets pinned on this connectivity piece.”
Peers said Deloitte would look to extend its partnerships with other organisations, as the accountancy firm had traditionally relied on a heavily in-house model.
“One of the key areas that we have historically under-invested in has been our operations function. As we grow, the question will be, do we partner with an organisation and turn some of these things into managed services, or do we grow our team? And I sometimes think we rely too heavily on our individuals today.
“We are looking at matching things available in the market with what we can deliver and practices and standards that we can uphold,” Peers said.