It’s time to take a closer look at business technologyFriday, 2nd March 2018
“Technological advances are helping businesses all over the country, but without a proper grasp of the regulations surrounding their use, businesses could open themselves up to a number of risks.”
Alison Loveday, partner at Kennedys
Technology is significantly changing the way we do business. From the creation of ideas to financial transactions, technological developments are permeating all aspects of daily business. Whilst some changes are relatively nascent, their impact can be huge and businesses owners should seriously evaluate the risks and rewards of technology on their people and profits.
Consumers are now clearly very comfortable with the ubiquitous internet-driven household “Smart” items and 2017 saw a spike in sales of voice-activated technology, but such developments have also crossed the boundary into business spaces, but are we seriously considering the impact of such devices in the workplace? What information can be captured and used through such platforms? and by whom? What happens to privacy and confidentiality especially in light of new GDPR regulations?
The nation’s financial technology (fintech) sector also has seen rapid growth in recent years, powered by the disillusionment with traditional banking systems rocked by successive scandals. This has already led to a massive growth in alternative sources of business finance and opportunities for technological development.
Cryptocurrency (e.g. Bitcoin) and digital cash, are radically changing the language of finance, but how can a small business benefit from them?
With more traditional financial infrastructures being inaccessible to SMEs, the new landscape facilitates the quicker delivery of products and services to market and with less expense, and arguably promotes a level playing field with the competitors. .
Fintech is an exciting area of development but not without risk. Businesses need to be alive the potential challenges which these developments may raise, for example, the provision of negligent advice by a Fintech provider, technology not being “fit for purpose” and failing to deliver its stated benefits and the security of customer data and ensuring protection against Cyber-attacks
“THOU SHALT NOT MAKE A MACHINE IN THE LIKENESS OF A HUMAN MIND.”
The visionary science fiction writer Frank Herbert in his novel “Dune” had the prescience to consider the long-lasting effects of technological development on humanity and vice versa , and thankfully unlike his fictitious world , whilst the use of artificial intelligence is not punishable by death, the implications of artificial intelligence are vast.
Will robots displace humans in the workplace?
It’s still too early to make that prediction but with the real growth of robots and automation in various industries, now is the time for take a closer look at how this could impact your business and workforce in the future. From supply chains to delivery, what role does automation play in your business and how could it both benefit and hinder you? More importantly, do you know your obligations with regards to adopting a more automated business, from health and safety and data management to the employment law repercussions of re-allocating people? Difficult questions of equality and ethics in the management of employee/automation relations will inevitably arise. The arrival of robots opens up a number of questions and considerations which many might not be prepared for.
About the Author – Alison Loveday
Alison is a Partner in the Manchester office of Kennedys. She is a nationally recognised expert in financial disputes and all aspects of employment law.
Alison has two main areas of focus – people and business. Her early experience as a commercial litigator drew her into the world of board and shareholder disputes, which naturally evolved into the creation of berg’s employment team. She specialises in tackling people issues involving the varying concerns of shareholders, investors, directors and employees.
She is a keen supporter of the North West business community and a former Chair (and current Director) of pro-manchester. She is also the Chair of the Technology Sector Group, and joint Chair of the Skills Committee.
Telephone: 0161 2812 848