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UK Business Leaders Struggle to Balance Demands of Employees, Customers and Citizens; Majority Believe They Could be Doing More to Positively Contribute to the Lives of Citizens

News facts:
  • Two-thirds (65 percent) of UK leaders struggle to balance the expectations of employees, customers and wider society, according to a new Global study commissioned by Fujitsu
  • 7-in-10 (71 percent) believe that employees have an increasing influence on their business and over three quarters (76 percent) say unlocking employee creativity is vital for growth
  • Although three quarters (73 percent) of UK organisations believe that society has become more critical of the business community over the last three years, the majority (65 percent) admit their organisation could be doing more to positively contribute to the lives of citizens
  • For 62 percent, the need to utilise digital technology will be vital in helping them have a more positive impact on society
London, October 18, 2018 – UK business leaders are struggling to cope with the demands of the three groups they need to serve in order to thrive: employees, customers and the wider society. This is according to a new Global study commissioned by Fujitsu, which found the majority (60 percent) of organisations in the UK currently prioritise the needs of their customers over those of employees (58 percent) and society as a whole (30 percent). But two-thirds (65 percent) of leaders nationwide admit they are struggling to balance the expectations of all three sets of people at once, which is a concern as organisations are aware of the influence each group has on their success.

Reflecting the struggle to balance all three groups and understand the connection between them, 7-in-10 (71 percent) of leaders believe that employees have an increasing influence on their business and over three quarters (76 percent) say unlocking employee creativity is vital for growth. However, 66 percent also feel that making a positive impact on society will be the key to their organisations succeeding in the future, whilst 77 percent state that the organisation must always put the customer first in order to be successful. This tension is further highlighted when looking at the factors leaders believe will define their success, most (60 percent) cited “achieving financial growth” as most important, while the need to have a good reputation (48 percent) was also deemed vital. The majority of business leaders also recognise the need to be able to rapidly respond and adapt, with 73 percent saying that business agility will be critical for future success.

Rupal Karia, Head of Public and Private Sector for Fujitsu UK & Ireland, said: “The world has transformed dramatically in recent years with organisations across all sectors feeling the effects of this change. More than ever, UK business leaders are recognising that true success will come from adopting a holistic approach: serving customers’ needs, unlocking the full potential of their workforce and ensuring a positive societal impact. It has become clear that the three groups are intrinsically connected with an organisation’s ability to influence the wider world through the employees and customers they engage with. Yet worryingly, throughout the study, there is uncertainty about the future and nervousness about whether their organisation is taking the right approach to each group. The pressure is on – as all three have huge influence on the future success of an organisation, it’s understandable that world business leaders find it challenging to manage this.”

The importance of making a positive impact on society comes through strongly in the study, with 8-in-10 (80 percent) UK leaders saying it’s essential to their organisation that they are trusted. But coming through even more clearly are the challenges organisations face in achieving this. Almost three quarters (73 percent) of respondents believe that society has become more critical of the business community over the last three years, while 65 percent admit their organisation could be doing more to positively contribute to the lives of citizens. However, highlighting that leaders struggle to see the connection between influencing employees and customers in order to change society, over half (54 percent) of respondents state that they do not believe that their organisation can make a big social impact. With an eye on the challenge ahead, 64 percent of leaders know that, to be successful in the future, they need to change their organisation’s approach to have a positive influence on the world.

When exploring what they need to help them address this challenge, many pointed to the need to utilise digital technology, something 62 percent of leaders say will be vital to helping them have a more positive impact on society in the coming years. While a further 73 percent connected the dots between the need to foster the right culture to make such an impact on the wider world, stating that “building and maintaining a creative and collaborative culture is key to having a positive influence on society.”

Rupal Karia continues, “Across the UK, organisations – whether private or public – face a multitude of socioeconomic and technological challenges, and over the last few years we’ve witnesses businesses in every industry grapple with what the future might mean for them. We recognise that digital technology plays a vital role in achieving a balanced approach in which, all three groups – employees, customers and citizens – are positively affected by an organisation. As such, UK business leaders need to view all groups as one because the capacity to “do good” for employees, customers and citizens should lie at the heart of any organisation. Only by making a positive difference to people – all people – will you achieve success.”

To download the full report, please visit:

Notes to editors

1This quantitative research was carried out in August 2018 by independent research company Censuswide, surveying 1,936 C-Suite decision makers within mid to large sized businesses across public sector and transport, financial services, retail and manufacturing in 16 countries worldwide.

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About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company, offering a full range of technology products, solutions, and services. Approximately 140,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.1 trillion yen (US $39 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018. For more information, please see

About Fujitsu UK and Ireland

Fujitsu UK & Ireland employs over 9,000 people. We promote a Human Centric Intelligent Society, in which innovation is driven by the integration of people, information and infrastructure. We are committed to Digital Co-creation, blending business expertise with digital technology and creating new value with ecosystem partners and customers. We enable our customers to digitally transform with connected technology services, focused on Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and Cloud - all underpinned by Security. Our customers cover both the public and private sectors, including retail, financial services, transport, manufacturing, government and defence. For more information please see

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Date: 18 October, 2018
City: London