While most Canadian executives see themselves as being digitally aware, they need to close the say-do gap on digital transformation or they risk being left behind. According to PwC Canada’s Digital IQ report, Canadian executives are less likely than their global counterparts to focus on proactive transformation initiatives, such as digital upskilling.
Although Canadian executives say they are proud of their digital strategy, 27% (vs 21% globally) admit a lack of suitably skilled teams is their No.1 barrier. Currently, 27% of Canadian respondents (vs 37% globally) say their organization trains employees to work with new technology. According to the report, Canadian executives are far less likely than their global counterparts to list emerging technology, user experience (UX) and cybersecurity as important digital skills to their organization.
“Upskilling and creating a solid employee experience will result in a larger and more diverse workforce,” says Nadir Hirji, Digital Services Leader, Strategy& and Partner, PwC Canada. “They must invest and train employees on new tech, regardless of their position or seniority. Upskilling and creating a strong digital culture is a shift that will positively impact an organization’s bottom line and secure a path for longevity and success.”
Compared to their global counterparts, Canadian organizations are focusing on improving operations rather than becoming more agile. Being less agile means that homegrown businesses are at a disadvantage when it comes to gaining a competitive edge. On a global scale, 54% of executives say artificial intelligence (AI) is a focus, compared to 45% in Canada. However, 92% of Canadian respondents cite Internet of Things (IoT) as a priority spend, compared to 73% globally. It would appear that Canadians are more focused on mature technologies like IoT that can help them realize operational efficiencies, compared with AI that can help innovation on a global scale.
Regardless of the innovation, 21% of Canadian executives (vs 18% globally) champion for stronger digital enablement in order to break into new markets. “Whether the outcome is to become more agile, a leader within the industry, or to break into new markets, creating a strong digital culture should start now, rather than wait and risk being left behind,” adds Hirji.
Click here to access the Digital IQ report.