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The technology challenge

In an age of disruption, technology companies are consistently at the forefront – either as developers of such innovations, or early major adopters.

Key developments include:

Social media Blockchain 3D printing Virtual/augmented reality Cloud computing and virtualisation
 Digital and new media Open source 5G The internet of things Artificial intelligence and automation

In fact British tech is growing over one-and-a-half times faster than the rest of the economy adding more than £130 billion to our economy every year.[1] However, the concerns are rising equally as fast…

Data security, privacy and cyber crime risks

As businesses providing products and services, which inherently create, amplify, and attract cyber risks, tech companies are a high-risk target for cyber criminals. It’s no surprise data security and privacy is the number one risk for tech companies.[2]

From hacking remote devices or other operational software systems, to cyber extortion, or potential theft/loss of control, the threats are real and the concern is justified.

How to stay up to date with regulation and compliance

Regulation and compliance is highly complex. But with rapidly evolving data, privacy, and consumer regulation, can tech companies keep up?

Stricter compliance regulations is a key theme that transcends many tech sectors. This market currently faces a very significant challenge in order to plan to address, certify new, and re-certify any existing products to the forthcoming regulations.

Attracting the right talent in the technology sector

The calibre of people leading and running tech businesses is a key pillar to success. But attracting qualified or suitable talent remains a big challenge.

Rapid IT advancements and soaring demand for qualified experts, coupled with competition from the bigger companies offering high salaries and perks, presents significant challenges in alluring qualified and top talent.

Investment and expansion options for technology firms

Tech businesses face unique financial challenges because of the high research and development costs associated with proving their business models. The ability to raise funds is critical to growth.

Funding is a major concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. The government’s pledged to invest £1.25bn to support the UK’s most innovative start-ups.[3] But only 5% of technology start-up funding has gone to firms raising investment for the first time.[4] Businesses must be careful and fully research the Future Fund before applying.

Protecting intellectual property (IP)

IP is the backbone of many tech companies. Trademarks, patents, copyright or designs are highly valuable assets. Getting a product to market before someone else does is critical.

There are concerns over Brexit’s impact on IP. It’s likely to impact on IP law, practice and procedure, but so much is still unknown. We are in this transition period until 31 December 2020 (this could change) and until then EU law will continue to operate as it does now in the UK.[5]

Interconnected risks in technology

As technology becomes further engrained in society and tech companies continue to innovate, they find themselves operating in multiple sectors (see below).

Data processors are no longer just processing data, but are overlapping into software, search and information services, and media. Even hardware and electronic component companies are seeing the value of data, as seen in the overlap in these sectors. The increasing complexity of overlap among tech sectors further demonstrates the need to understand new liabilities and interconnected risks.

Disrupting the way you think about risk

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Sources:

[1] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2019/06/10/london-tech-week-third-europes-fastest-growing-tech-companies/
[2] Marsh’s 2019 CMT Risk Study
[3] https://www.ft.com/content/8cca3583-ed1d-4899-8726-594c4e9b7f49
[4] https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252483474/Early-stage-startups-struggle-to-secure-funding-during-lockdown
[5] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/intellectual-property-and-the-transition-period

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