24 Nov 2020

B2B Tech Tuesday: British councils lagging on digitisation of citizen’s data

B2B Tech Tuesday is our weekly check-in here at Spreckley, where we share all the most interesting and useful B2B and enterprise technology news, innovations and trends.

This week, we look at the latest research into the digitisation of British citizen’s data, which is apparently seriously lagging at local authority level. Also, we consider reports that claim European enterprises are losing over £2 million each every year due to failures to optimise technologies properly. Finally, we look at the latest developments in industrial trash and recycling robotics, with market leader AMP Robotics on the verge of landing a new $70 million funding round.


British councils are lagging on citizen data digitisation

Computer Weekly reports that British Local Authorities are lagging behind in the digitisation of their citizen’s records, with nearly a third of councils in the UK unable to tell how much citizen info they store digitally.

“As the UK government moves towards the creation of a national strategy to make better use of data across the public sector, recent research suggests that local authorities are lagging behind in terms of digitisation of citizen information,” the report notes.

“The data was obtained from a freedom of information (FoI) request, issued by to 428 local authorities across the UK, with 263 (more than 60%) of them responding, in July and August 2020. According to the study, 31% of councils are unable to confirm exactly how much of the information they store and manage for local citizens is digitalised.”


European enterprises losing over £2 million each per year due to slow tech upgrades

Information Age reports on new research revealing that the failure to optimise technologies across European enterprises is costing businesses over £2 million each per year, on average.

“According to the research, the technology spending initiatives of European enterprises are being held back by investing more than necessary in software licensing, with the average spend in this area being enough to pay the wages of 45 skilled IT specialists,” reads the report.

“With 95% of European companies revealed to be under pressure to reduce costs during the ongoing pandemic, 51% of organisations have downsized their workforce since March 2020, while over a quarter (27%) have specifically downsized its IT staff.

“44% said they are sweating IT assets longer than before the pandemic took hold, and 34% are consolidating physical office facilities, but despite these findings, firms are failing to fully optimise IT costs.”

Emma de Sousa, senior vice-president EMEA at Insight, said of the findings:  “Organisations have been struggling to address systemic challenges around cost management for several years. If they double down on their cost optimisation efforts, they could avoid making decisions that will almost certainly impact their ability to execute digital transformation plans.

“There are countless opportunities for organisations to optimise their costs and save money without harming their ability to operate effectively… The challenges we’ve faced so far in 2020 are in no way over, and IT departments have a key role in supporting their organisations,” continued de Sousa.

“Now is the time to eradicate waste and drive more efficient operations. By doing this, organisations will be better placed to ensure the enterprise is resilient enough to survive and even thrive, whatever the future brings.”


Latest funding round for recycling robotics tech

Finally this week, TechCrunch reports that the recycling robotics company AMP robotics is set to raise up to $70m in new financing to support its trash sorting and recycling robots.

“The potential benefits of AMP Robotics machine learning enabled robots are undeniable,” reports TechCrunch. “The company’s technology can sort waste streams in ways that traditional systems never could and at a cost that’s far lower than most waste handling facilities.

“AMP’s robots already have been deployed in North America, Asia and Europe, with recent installations in Spain and across the U.S. in California, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Michigan, New York, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

“Given the economic reality, recyclers are turning to AMP’s technology — a combination of computer vision, machine learning and robotic automation to improve efficiencies at their facilities.

AMP’s chief executive Matanya Horowitz previously explained to TechCrunch how its recycling tech works:

“We can identify… whether it’s a Coke or Pepsi can or a Starbucks cup… So that people can help design their product for circularity… we’re building out our reporting capabilities and that, to them, is something that is of high interest.”