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Business productivity review opened in the UK

Cloud computing, e-commerce, accounting software and customer relationship management software are among the seven "best practice technologies" the UK government has identified to have potential to boost business productivity.24 May 2018

The government set out an "initial list" of "tried-and-tested best practice technology" which has "potential to raise firm-level productivity across a broad base of businesses" as part of a new business productivity review it has opened.

Supply chain management software, HR management software and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software are also included on that list.

The government's review is aimed at identifying how businesses can use technology, the latest management practices and business support services to improve their productivity, and thereby deliver a growth in profits and increase in wages for workers. Businesses and other stakeholders have been asked to help shape the review's findings through a call for evidence (35-page / 955KB PDF), which is open until 4 July.

Findings from the review will be sent to the UK chancellor in autumn this year and used to shape the next steps on the delivery of the government's industrial strategy.

"This review is focused on improving the productivity of businesses with lower productivity, sometimes described as a ‘long tail’ that lags behind the leading firms and underperform relative to domestic and international benchmarks," the government said.

Separately, MPs on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee in the UK parliament have opened a new inquiry to look at the likely impact of automation on UK businesses and its potential for "productivity, growth and reindustrialisation".

Rachel Reeves, chair of the BEIS Committee, said: "Automation could provide an opportunity for the UK to reindustrialise, where we compete internationally on quality and price, not a race to the bottom on wages, through the development of more efficient and productive industries. In seeking to capitalise on these opportunities, it is vital that government does what it can to ensure the benefits of automation are realized for the economies of all parts of the country. As a Committee we want to examine the impact of automation on business, consumers, and workers and to explore the opportunities for the UK to be a world leader in automation."