Businesses, potential suppliers and key stakeholders from the South London Partnership (SLP) boroughs came together to exchange ideas and experiences at a free workshop run by Sutton Council as part of the InnOvaTe project, on 26 September 2019.
14th November 2019
The event was the first of a series of workshops set to find out the key challenges businesses within the SLP boroughs face.
The event was facilitated by Digital Catapult, the UK’s leading agency for the early adoption of advanced digital technologies, who were recently announced as a project partner and took this opportunity to introduce themselves and get a clearer understanding of some of the challenges businesses across the SLP face.
Digital Catapult explained how they will draw from their experience working with companies such as Microsoft, Google and BAE systems.
Sutton’s Growth Director, Mary Morrissey presented an overview of the InnOvaTe project, outlining the aims and objectives, which was followed by Digital Catapult’s team highlighting several reasons why businesses are deploying IoT in their industries, with case study examples such as PwC Smart Office office.
Challenges to business growth in Sutton
Following the presentations and networking breaks, participants split into groups to look at the challenges businesses face when it comes to economic growth.
Here are some examples of challenges which were raised during this group discussion:
There was a consensus that several organisations have a limited awareness of IoT as a technology, and struggle to justify the resource in equipment and training to upskill staff on how to run an IoT enabled business.
Behavioural changes (Physical shopping vs Online)
Many businesses have faced difficulty in adapting to the changing demands of consumers, with several lacking the infrastructure to incorporate the growing desire for on-demand services.
Local transport services – buses/trains not optimised for school run/rush hour
One of the greatest challenges for any business is how to overcome traffic congestion, which hugely impacts profitability, staff productivity and daily operations.
Sutton’s InnoVaTe team and Digital Catapult will use the insights gained from this workshop and the other engagement events set to follow in neighbouring boroughs to review current business trends and economic growth challenges faced.
This will help formulate our thinking in how to design, implement and deploy our IoT solutions, that will provide the value stakeholders in our boroughs seek, in the midst of business growth and demand fluctuation.
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Reviews from attendees
“ITP were very happy to participate in Sutton Council’s Very Useful Workshop on IoT Technologies with engaging presentations and audience participation”
– Alex Rocha | ITP
“As a tech company moving to Sutton, it was an absolute pleasure to see Sutton Council’s approach to technology, smart cities and IoT. Involving thought leaders from business and education sector early on was a great indication of how ambitious Sutton is about this project. I can’t wait to see the impact of this project on people, businesses and the community.”
– Somayeh Aghnia | Geeks Ltd