Corporates Struggle With Digital Change

11 Jul 2017 | 04.12 pm

Corporates Struggle With Digital Change

PwC Digital IQ survey shows digital projects not delivering

11 Jul 2017 | 04.12 pm

The latest global Digital IQ survey from PwC indicates a building Catch-22 situation for companies in respect of their digital abilities, as the pace of technical change increases and the technology becomes more complicated faster than firms adopt fresh technologies and approaches.

While the survey took in 2,200 respondents, only 50 business and tech leaders in Ireland were sampled. Based on their responses, the survey concludes that in Ireland the lack of digital skills is holding back progress, half of digital projects are not delivering and more investment is needed in key emerging technologies.

PwC technology partner David Lee commented: “We have seen a declining Digital IQ over the last few years globally and in Ireland. Companies have done a lot to prepare themselves to profit from digital, and significant investments have been made in technology. The disparity between effort and outcomes is partially due to the fact that Digital IQ is measured not against a static scale but instead tracks organisational readiness in a fast evolving environment. We see companies being smarter about technology adoption than they were previously, but the pace of change keeps getting faster and the technologies are becoming more complex.”

Highlights from the small sample of Irish coporates include:

  • 48% of Irish executives reported their strategic digital initiatives failed to deliver to their planned scope.  Irish corporates score poorly (44%) when it comes to measuring outcomes from digital investments,down from 60% in 2015.
  • Two thirds believe they have the skills required for an evolving digital economy, though half admitted that the lack of properly skilled teams is a barrier to achieving expected results from digital technology.
  • Around half of Irish respondents rated their skills’ competencies as ‘strong’ or ‘very strong’ in the areas of cybersecurity (Ireland: 58%; global: 64%), data analytics (Ireland: 54%; global: 59%) and evaluating emerging technologies (46%; global: 55%).
  • 38% believe that the internet of things will be the most disruptive technology to existing business models in the next five years, followed by robotics (18%) and artificial intelligence (16%).
  • Irish companies (41%) are far more likely than global peers (19%) to involve customer advisory groups when gathering ideas to apply emerging technologies in new ways.
  • 58% of Irish respondents felt that their organisation embraces rapid change and disruption, lagging behind their global counterparts (69%).

Integration Imperative

PwC advocates both ramping up investment in digital technologies and the skills to support them, plus more attention to user experience and human centred design. “There is awareness that digital capabilities are a critical component to success and that emerging technologies have to be explored, but leaders remain challenged by the need to transform their organisations to truly integrate digital with the company’s culture,” said Lee.

“Having a high Digital IQ is really all about integration — the business, the customer and employee experience, and the technology — to build one cohesive and transformative solution. That is what will really give a company a competitive edge.”

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