Monday 20 November 2017

Almost half of digital initiatives aren't delivered within scope

Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Almost half of digital projects initiated by Irish businesses are not being delivered in full, and its due to blockages including lack of skills.

Projects are far more likely to become stalled here than in the UK.

Irish companies (66pc) are also less likely than global peers (72pc) to proactively evaluate and plan for security and privacy risks in digital, according to PwC's 2017 Irish Digital IQ survey, published yesterday.

The research found that Irish companies were far more likely than their global peers to involve customer-advisory groups when gathering ideas to apply emerging technologies in new ways.

Forty-one per cent of Irish companies said they were likely to use such groups and surveys, compared with 19pc of firms globally and only 14pc in the UK.

Irish companies are also more likely than global peers to have dedicated teams for digital innovation, with one in two Irish companies saying that they had dedicated teams for digital innovation, compared with 43pc of global firms.

Nevertheless, despite Ireland being more likely to involve the customer when gathering ideas, we are behind our global peers when it comes to user-experience and human-centred design, areas which will be increasingly important, the PwC research found.

"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," David Lee, PwC Ireland technology partner, said.

In terms of technologies which will be most disruptive to business models over the next five years, the internet of things ranked highest for Irish firms.

This issue was also cited by the majority of businesses in the UK and globally as the area of technology which will be most disruptive to their business model.

Other areas of technology cited as being disruptive to exiting business models in the next five years include robotics, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, drones, and blockchain.

Meanwhile, in the area of security and privacy risks, Irish companies are less likely than global peers to proactively evaluate and plan for security and privacy risks in digital projects, with two-thirds of Irish businesses saying that they proactively plan for security and privacy risks, compared with 72pc of firms globally.

"Businesses can do all of the right things, but unless they give adequate attention to security and privacy considerations, they risk not just failing to capitalise on the potential of digital, but doing serious damage to their relationships with customers and employees and their overall brand," PwC said.

Finally, the survey found Ireland was largely lagging behind in the area of skills development in key emerging technologies, such as the internet of things, artificial intelligence and robotics.

Only 38pc of Irish respondents said their businesses had skills which were highly developed or quite developed in the internet of things, compared with 55pc of UK respondents and 45pc of Western European respondents.

This is particularly noteworthy in light of the fact that these technologies are identified as being some of the most disruptive to business models.

This is PwC's 10th Global Digital IQ study, drawing upon the perspectives of over 2,200 business and technology leaders in all key industries.

Irish Independent

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