Time to act. PWC survey shows how crucial digital transformation is for private businesses

Posted on 28/06/2019

PWC asked leaders of European private businesses to tell them how relevant key technologies are for their business and whether they are already using them.

Digital transformation is disrupting every corner of the economy and private businesses are no exception - shows the latest PWC survey. Digital transformation is key to unlocking the next stage of growth and have a fighting chance of growing faster when the next upturn comes.

The most popular technology: Internet of things (IoT), by a wide margin. That corresponds to how European private businesses see digitalisation.

Some European private business leaders may be underestimating the effect key technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality and 3D printing could have on their businesses, though. Some countries nonetheless stood out as early adopters. The UK already has a large ecosystem of AI companies, and more British leaders told us their companies are using AI (45%).  Turkey tied with the UK in usage of 3D printing, also at 45%. And Norwegian leaders reported nearly as high a rate of usage of virtual reality (38%) as did leaders in the UK (40%).

But do European companies have the staffing and funding needed  to take digitalisation to the next level?

PWC sees significant benefits to viewing digitalisation as a holistic strategy to transform an entire company – especially at a time when the economic cycle demands reinvention and renewal in preparation for the next era of growth.

However some owners and managers may  not fully understand the scale of change required and how to fund and staff for digital transformation. Only 22% of European companies overall say their companies allocate more than 5% of their investments to digitalisation, compared to 35% in more technologically advanced parts of Europe such as Scandinavia.

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