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Mexico, China and other rising economies are quicker at employing new technologies than the UK, meaning that Britain is lagging behind in the shift to server virtualisation, according to a survey by Dell and Intel.

"The virtualisation rates are lowest where there are the highest legacy systems," said Bryan Jones, director of European marketing at Dell, speaking at a panel on the survey results.

"Developing countries will have an advantage because they will provide more competitive environments," the Dell rep said, saying it was easier for places like Mexico and China to be more innovative because they didn't have the "stumbling blocks" of legacy systems.

The UK is lagging behind on other areas of tech innovation as well, declared the survey: employees' choice of device and the freedom of employees to download what software they want is much better in Mexico than the UK.

82 per cent of Mexican workers said they felt free to download whatever software they needed at work, while only 37 per cent of UK workers felt that to be case. There was an attitude difference, too, according to the report:

A stark difference is observed between developed and developing countries - 83 per cent of Mexicans and 76 per cent of Brazilians believe that it is a good thing for "technology and the Internet to allow [them] to do business in different ways", compared with 43 per cent of British workers and 46 per cent of Americans.

Ian Jones, director of enterprise business for Intel UK, said that this came with a cost to the UK - that businesses in developed countries were missing out on the benefits that employee innovation can bring. Asked whether the UK should be worried by the findings, Bryan Jones, of Dell, said: "Yes, absolutely. Developed nations need to be freeing things up and need to be more competitive."

He said that British investment levels in IT are still healthy but CIOs need to be sure they are putting their pounds in the right place.

"Organisations that provide technology freedoms and flexibility will not only be seen as desirable places to work, but at a competitive advantage," he said as recorded on the press release.

Dell and Intel both provide virtual server technology.

The Evolving Workforce survey was carried out by TNS Global Research on behalf of Dell and Intel, the interviews were conducted in October 2011. TNS interviewed people who use computers for their work for the survey: over 8,000 people worldwide including 1,000 in Britain. ®

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