News in brief: cyber attacks; female leaders

News in brief
News in brief

SMEs must not underestimate cyber attacks

SMEs risk being disqualified from bidding for work because of the lack of importance they are placing on looking after their valuable client data, according to a survey of procurement managers by KPMG.

A multi-sector KPMG survey of 175 procurement managers across the UK from organisations with more than 250 employees revealed that the general consensus (70%) of procurement managers is that SMEs should be doing more to prevent cyber attacks and protect valuable client data.

The vast majority (86%) of respondents said they would consider removing an SME supplier if they were hacked and nearly all of the respondents (94%) confirmed that cyber security standards are important when awarding contracts to smaller suppliers.

Employers need to recognise the value of female leaders

The Executive Coaching Consultancy (ECC) has released new research that suggests many talent retention strategies are not doing what they set out to do. The study indicates that employers need to do more to recognise and value the contribution female leaders can bring and think differently about the type of role models they showcase.

While one in five of the women surveyed said they never had the ambition to progress to a senior role, it is clear that once women get to experience the reality of a career with their employer, they don’t always like what they see.

ECC managing director Geraldine Gallacher said: “Organisations need to rethink their approach to retaining women. Rather than focusing on quotas and senior leadership development initiatives, organisations need to look at the other end of the talent pipeline at those younger women they have recruited and see the problem through their eyes.”

Businesses need to pay greater attention to employees’ ideas

Businesses in the UK are missing out on an average of 18,000 opportunities a year to boost their bottom line because they are failing to listen to their workers’ ideas, according to new research by Wazoku, the UK’s leading collaborative idea management software company.

The EveryDay Innovation Report revealed that the average UK worker typically suggests six innovative ideas to improve the business each year. Less than half of these ideas (43%) are acknowledged by their employers, meaning that thousands of ideas and opportunities to improve are being missed by UK organisations.

On the upside, of the ideas that are acknowledged by a business, more than one in three (39%) are implemented and positively impact the way the organisation works. This proves the urgent need for a culture of innovation to be baked into the everyday working practices of an entire organisation, otherwise known as EveryDay Innovation.

SMEs slow to adopt new technology due to skills gap

Small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses in the UK have the worst record for responding to new business opportunities, with a lack of available skilled workers highlighted as a potential cause. These are some of the findings of a global research study commissioned by business software provider Exact that compares how SMEs in different countries stack up against each other when it comes to technology adoption.

The Exact 2015 SME Cloud Barometer - an independent research study of almost 3,000 SME leaders across the UK, the US, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium - shows that 14% of UK manufacturers failed to respond to Request for Proposals on time, compared to a global average of 11%.

The research suggests staffing levels potentially lie at the root of the problem, with results showing the biggest challenge for UK manufacturers is finding skilled technical staff (43% - compared to a global average of 32%). That headache is followed by one of having to ensure their material and processing costs are accurate (37%), and then of ensuring invoices are paid on time and that product innovation initiatives are optimised (both at 34%).