Canadian Executives Invest in Tech Skills Training to Stay Ahead of Global Competition

PwC Canada launches Digital IQ report

Toronto, ON (Mar. 31, 2017) – Canadian organizations are unlocking the value of their digital investments and encouraging a culture of innovation to harness the power of technology to transform their business and deliver results. However, since the first Digital IQ report launched in 2007, organizations are no better equipped today to handle the changes coming their way. They aren’t so much falling behind as struggling to keep up with constant technology change.

According to PwC Canada’s latest Digital IQ report, Canadian organizations need to focus on their people to redefine digital transformation, rethink their talent strategies and shift culture to adopt emerging technology.

Canadian executives consider digital strategy, cybersecurity and data analytics to be quite important or highly important skills to their business. Currently, 54% of Canadian organizations (vs. 43% of globally) have a dedicated team for digital innovation. Yet, only 46% (vs. 63% globally) rank the issue of a lack of properly skilled teams among the top barriers to getting results from digital technology leaving room for training opportunities. This attention deficit on training or hiring talent with the right skills can put an organization at risk and become less competitive.

“Organizations that invest in the right skills and foster a strong digital culture will emerge as winners in the digital era. Training their workforces and attracting skilled talent, translates into better employee experiences and improve talent retention,” says Nadir Hirji, Partner Strategy& and Lead, PwC Canada Digital Services. “Digital and technology is not a future agenda item, rather, leaders need to create a digital culture now if they want to stay ahead of the competition. It begins by setting a vision for the transformation that is meaningful and holistic.”

Despite the reality of digital disruption, a majority of Canadian respondents see outdated technology and integrating new data and solutions as the biggest barrier to achieving results from digital technology initiatives. The report highlights eight essential technologies that Canadian organizations should consider as part of their technology mix: Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, 3D printing, augmented reality (AR), drones, blockchain and virtual reality.

The most meaningful investments in emerging technology today are flowing to IoT and AI. Over the next three years, growth is expected across a broader spectrum of technologies, with robotics, AR and drone technologies poised for the greatest near-term growth. According to the report, 28% of Canadian executives say AI will shake up their industries and businesses over the next five years while IoT (52%) and robotics (15%) are seen as holding the most potential to cut costs.

In Canada, 8 out of 10 respondents name revenue growth as their biggest outcome from their digital investments. They see digital more as a customer-facing activity, often at the expense of fully integrating digital into the culture of other parts of their business. However, the report indicates that digital should account for a large portion of the organization’s strategy that reaches beyond customer-facing activity. In fact, 7 out of 10 executives in Canada already incorporate digital strategy into corporate strategy. Yet, they’re not as focused as they should be on the details of its implementation, such as developing roadmaps, measuring outcomes and improving decision-making.

“Too often Canadian organizations see digital as customer facing initiatives. This is only half the potential, and by ignoring employee or digital operational improvement, Canadian organizations are at a risk of being left behind,” adds Hirji.

Access the full report: Digital IQ 2017 Canadian insights: Unlocking value from digital investments.

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Source: PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)