Nearly half of Irish digital initiatives for business are not delivering, according to findings in PwC's 2017 Irish Digital IQ survey published today.
The survey finds that less than two-thirds (64%) of Irish organisations have the digital skills required for an evolving digital economy and is similar to global peers (65%). At the same time, almost one out of two (46%) Irish respondents admitted that the lack of properly skilled teams is a barrier when it comes to achieving expected results from digital technology initiatives.
Nearly half (48%) of Irish executives reported that their strategic digital initiatives failed to deliver to their planned scope and is similar to global levels (45%). Furthermore, Ireland scores poorly (44%) when it comes to measuring outcomes from digital investments and has deteriorated from 60% in 2015.
The survey highlights that just over half (58%) of Irish respondents felt that their organisation embraces rapid change and disruption and lags global counterparts (69%).
Irish respondents rated their organisations' digital skills behind that of global peers for all key capabilities. For example, only 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%).
The survey suggests that a step-up in investment is needed in key areas of emerging technologies in order to keep pace with global levels. For example, in Ireland, 58% of executives plan to invest substantially in the internet of things over the next three years compared to 63% globally; for artificial intelligence this is 54% compared to 63% globally.
Just 6% of Irish executives plan to invest heavily in Blockchain over the next three years compared to 11% globally. One in five (20%) Irish respondents plan to invest substantially in drones by 2020, but these skills are virtually non-existent at present in Ireland.
Speaking at the survey launch, PwC Ireland Digital Leader, Ronan Fitzpatrick said, "Now, more than ever, upskilling is needed. The findings of the survey highlight that Irish businesses are trailing its global peers in terms of the adequacy of its digital skill sets. This training includes teaching employees the skills to harness technology, whether that's a new customer platform or a new breed of collaborative robot."
He added, "It also means cross-training workers to be comfortable and conversant in disciplines outside their own, as well as in 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."