PwC's 2017 Irish Digital IQ survey has revealed that leaders in the industry believe that more investment is needed in skills and emerging technologies to help deliver on the potential of digital strategy.
This is PwC's tenth global Digital IQ study, and the second to feature Ireland's perspective. It gathers the views of over 2,200 business and technology leaders in all key industry sectors around the world, including 50 in Ireland.
Digital IQ is the measurement of an organisation’s ability to harness and profit from technology. This includes how well an organisation understands the value of technology and how well it weaves it into the fabric of its organisation.
Speaking at the launch of the survey, PwC Ireland's Technology Partner David Lee said: "We have seen declining Digital IQ over the last few years globally and in Ireland.
"Over half of companies around the world and in Ireland rate their Digital IQ as strong compared to 67% in 2015 and 66% in 2014.
"Companies have done a lot to prepare themselves to profit from digital. Significant investments have been made in technology. But Digital IQ tracks organisational readiness in a fast evolving environment. Companies are being smarter about technology adoption than before, but the pace of change keeps increasing and technologies are becoming more complex.
"Today the spectrum and diversity of technologies available to business leaders is immense, and business leaders need to understand what technology best fits their strategy and what makes the most sense as an investment.
Building a culture of innovation – upping everyone's Digital IQ – is no small task, but it is necessary if a company seeks to compete in today's highly disrupted and challenging market."
Among the key findings were:
Almost half of Irish executives reported that their strategic digital initiatives failed to deliver to their planned scope. This is similar to the global findings. Ireland also scores poorly (44%) when it comes to measuring the outcomes of digital investments. This has deteriorated from 60% in 2015.
According to the survey, less than two-thirds of Irish organisations have the digital skills required for an evolving digital economy. At the same time, almost half Irish respondents admitted that the lack of skilled teams is a barrier when it comes to achieving expected results from digital technology initiatives.
Ronan Fitzpatrick, PwC Ireland Digital Leader, said: "Now, more than ever, upskilling is essential. Employees need the skills to harness technology, whether that's a new customer platform or a new breed of collaborative robot.
"Cross-training workers to be comfortable and conversant in disciplines outside their own is also important. They need skills that can support innovation and collaboration, such as agile approaches or design thinking. With increases in automation, robotics and AI, the workforce is changing and skills need to move with those changes."
In summing up, David Lee said: "Business leaders remain challenged by the need to transform their organisations and to integrate digital with the company's culture. It is critical that companies today invest in digital solutions if they want to be successful.
"However, we still see companies failing to fully drive business results from digital technology investments. It's even more important that they think through how their tech investments drive current and new business models and financial results.
"Digital IQ is really all about integration – the alignment of the business, the customer and employee experience and the technology - to build one cohesive and transformative solution. Doing that will give a company a competitive edge."
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