News in brief: technology, finance, HR

News in brief
News in brief


Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks announces new unit for the emerging technology sector

The Banks' Emerging Technology Unit has been created by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks with the express aim of supporting high growth businesses in the emerging technology sector – businesses that may have, historically, been under served by lenders.

The creation of this team is part of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks' partnership with the British Business Bank under its ENABLE Guarantee programme, announced earlier this year. Up to £125m of new lending by the banks will be available to help more small businesses achieve their growth ambitions.

Director for Business and Private Banking at Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks Paul Shephard said: "The nature of British business has shifted considerably in the last few decades from one of manufacturing, industry and production, to one of knowledge, service and innovation. Traditional manufacturers still play an important part in our economy, but the emergence of technological innovation is something we have the expertise and desire to support.”

Businesses adopting hybrid IT as a stepping stone to the cloud

Research from Sungard Availability Services, a provider of information availability through managed IT, cloud and recovery services, has revealed that more than half of UK organisations believe that the complexity of their IT estate is hindering their ability to innovate. Many businesses find themselves in a state of hybrid IT, running their business across a number of different IT platforms. Unsurprisingly today’s so-called hybrid IT estate is becoming increasingly complex, yet it is viewed positively by 92% of organisations.

Hybrid IT has been identified as a critical component of businesses’ success, with 77% of organisations stating that it was a necessary part of staying competitive within their industry. In fact, three quarters of respondents (75%) claimed that the move to a hybrid IT estate was a strategic choice, with 51% citing it specifically as their stepping stone to cloud.


Businesses fail to value their staff

Research commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) shows that few companies really bother to value their staff.

A survey of 513 senior decision-makers across industry has revealed that while nearly all (97%) believe that good management and investment in employees has a direct, positive impact on a business’ performance, the majority (57%) are either unaware of or do not use any data on their human resources when deciding business strategy. Some 94% of those surveyed said that they think poor management of employees can contribute to corporate failure.

President of CIMA Myriam Madden commented: “Talent is a strategic driver of business success and so it is crucial we cultivate and manage that talent using an inclusive, gender intelligent model. Organisations must plan for and source the relevant information needed to create strategies for human capital management and wider business.”

Diversity of British boardrooms risks going into reverse gear

The diversity of Britain’s boardrooms risks going into reverse gear over the next 18 months as the terms of current female Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) expire, according to analysis from Audeliss, a diversity focused executive search firm.

The latest research shows that the number of female NEDs in the FTSE 100 currently stands at 31.3% of the total, but this is expected to fall to 25.6% by April 2017 if current NEDs follow existing trends and are not renewed in post or stand down due to expiry of their terms.

Audeliss CEO Suki Sandhu said, “The data suggests that today’s female NEDs only average 5.5 years tenure, which means that we are fast approaching a period when many of the current leaders will stand down. The question now is ‘who will replace them?’ The female executive pipeline of talent is simply too slim to sustain the progress of the last five years.”


Government announces tax relief awareness campaign for SMEs

In a major boost for pioneering small businesses, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke has launched a plan outlining how the government will make it easier for small businesses investing in research and development to claim tax relief.

The two-year plan, which is a response to a Revenue and Customs (HMRC) consultation, aims to increase take-up of research and development (R&D) tax relief through raising awareness of the relief among small businesses and making it easier for them to apply.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said: “R&D is crucial for the long-term growth of the UK economy. Over 15,000 SMEs claimed the relief in 2013, an increase of around 19 per cent from the previous year, but we need to go further to support pioneering small businesses.

“That’s why we’ve published a document setting out our plans to increase awareness.”