IT investment required to support global expansion of British firms

Over half of British businesses that want to expand internationally say insufficient technology or comms infrastructures are barriers

More than three-quarters (77%) of British businesses that currently only operate in the UK want to expand internationally, but 59% of these believe insufficient technology or communications infrastructures are barriers to this ambition.

The Vanson Bourne study of 650 SMEs revealed that 80% of these British companies want to expand as a result of the economic upturn, with international expansion essential to future growth for 92%.

With telecoms and IT infrastructures seen as a barrier to global expansion, investment is important. A total of 60% of the businesses surveyed intend to improve their communications infrastructure, and 76% are planning to invest in other related technologies.

"There is huge international demand for our products and services, with UK exports to high-growth markets like China, India and Brazil at all-time highs. The international success of UK businesses is having a knock on effect and encouraging firms that have not exported before to follow suit,” said Crispin Simon, CEO at UK Trade & Investment.

But according to the research, one of the main barriers both smaller and large organisations face is having the communications and technological infrastructure to support their goals.

The research found that 78% of businesses cite technology as their key area for investment, while 60% will be making improvements to their communication infrastructure.

The research was sponsored by mobile communications service provider Truphone, which offers a single SIM to its users which gives them the same voice and data services with the same local charge in 66 countries. In these countries the device connects to the network locally so the call quality and data speeds are better than if the call was routed back to the user's home country.

Truphone's network infrastructure is designed to be global, rather than having separate networks in different countries. Users get the same services when overseas as they do in the UK, with the same charges. 

Truphone also provides users with local support if there are problems with devices. It has customers whose staff travel regularly, including the London Symphony Orchestra and the Caterham F1 Team

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