20 November 2020
Since Deloitte’s last report, the UK has faced a period of great change, shaped by factors including Brexit negotiations, shifting consumer behaviours, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The impacts have been widespread, creating a level of uncertainty for businesses and consumers. Against this backdrop, the performance of the UK technology sector has been relatively robust, demonstrating agility to adapt to these challenging dynamics. The Fast 50 are at the forefront of this sector, having delivered an inspiring average revenue growth rate of 2,898 per cent over the past three years, with £2.2bn overall revenue in the last financial year.
In current edition of the programme, Deloitte takes a deeper look at the theme of agility, and the Fast 50’s ability to quickly make and execute decisions. As global markets and consumers continue to evolve, the Fast 50 have demonstrated their ability to respond and position themselves for success. This year has been, and continues to be, particularly challenging, with the COVID‐19 pandemic impacting the livelihoods of consumers and businesses globally.
Business strategy is at the core of the Fast 50 respondent’s performance; respondents identified strategy as the key factor to both their incredible historical growth and expected future achievements. In the last three years, many of these strategies have evolved, temporarily or permanently, as global markets and consumer behaviours have changed. During the COVID-19 pandemic, over half of the respondents decided to adapt to focus on a shorter-term horizon for their strategy.
Workforce is a core driver of business performance and Fast 50 respondents have continued to evolve their workforce makeup and structure. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the Fast 50 successfully executed a move to a fully remote working model, likely fuelled by the agility already embedded in the business and availability of remote working technology. In addition, over half added more flexible working or part-time solutions for their employees. The balance between home working and office working is a topic being considered by the Fast 50. In our discussion with CEOs, the benefits of home-working are appreciated, whilst there is a recognition of how office working can support in-person collaboration and team culture.
The Fast 50 demonstrated agility in their response to changing markets. Many implemented alterations to their product/service offering, pricing, business models and/or target market, with the majority successfully doing so within four weeks of hearing about the pandemic. Product/service offering alterations were the most popular, with over half of those who did so expecting the changes to remain going forwards.
Agility has been a key enabler for the outstanding growth seen by the Fast 50 cohort over the last three years, and a central driver in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this period of change and uncertainty, our CEOs’ outlook on the future remains positive, yet they acknowledge they will need to adapt and innovate quicker than ever before. As these businesses grow, we expect to see them responding to consumer and market developments, positioning themselves for success.
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