PwC Survey: Growing sense of urgency for businesses in Bermuda and Caribbean to keep pace with technological change – and see return on digital investment

March 04, 2024

4 March 2024 – PwC’s Digital Readiness Survey 2024: Fast forward or fall behind highlights a growing sense of urgency for Bermuda and Caribbean business leaders to keep pace with rapid advances in technology and shifting customer expectations.

The survey of CEOs and other executives of leading businesses across the region finds that while close to 70% see their CEO as a champion for digital transformation, less than half of respondents (42%) think their organisation’s digital transformation is on track and proceeding quickly enough. Only 25% strongly agree their company encourages innovation and adaptability.

About half of businesses surveyed (47%) see a return on their digital investments. 45% of respondents see artificial intelligence (AI) as the most critical technology to their company's strategy today. That grows to 52% in three years as the transformational impact of AI gathers pace.

More than a third of respondents (37%) believe their organisation faces a survival-level threat from digital disruption.

Zia Paton, Digital Solutions Leader, PwC in the Caribbean, says: “Our report underscores the increasing urgency felt by boards, the C-suite and business teams as they try to keep pace with rapid advances in technology and shifting customer expectations. Artificial intelligence is sharpening the focus – creating a catalyst for innovation and business model reinvention on the one side, and a high degree of uncertainty and concern on the other.

“Well-targeted investments in systems and skills are clearly critical. But they’re not enough on their own to accelerate transformation and move out in front. The businesses reaping the digital dividend are marked by the boldness of their ambition, the readiness of their workforce to embrace new possibilities, and their agility and resilience in the face of continual disruption and change.”

Anthony Fellowes, Director, Digital, PwC Bermuda, said: “Setting out five ways businesses can speed up digital transformation, our report highlights how organisations should think and go big, use cloud modernisation as a springboard for transformation, make upskilling count, make sure their data is up to scratch and strengthen their security and trust. By driving transformation in these areas, businesses can move further and faster in achieving digital success.”

Equipped to compete

The survey finds that a surprisingly high proportion of respondents (55%) are still not fully utilising data tools across all operational activities, even though this is key to cost control and improved productivity.

Similarly, only 17% report that data analytics plays a central and critical role in guiding decision making and processes.

The survey highlights the step-up in investment in workforce upskilling with most (52%) investing in new tools to accomplish this. When respondents were asked about the barriers to upskilling their workforce, the top three were: Lack of time (40%), lack of budget (36%) and lack of strategic focus on training (28%).

Cyber vulnerabilities are increasing

Among the biggest challenges facing businesses as they look to accelerate digital transformation and realise the return is how – and how quickly – to retire and replace their legacy systems. 

Only 53% have been able to prioritise the technology and infrastructure changes that will have the biggest impact on their business. And 37% have implemented design thinking and/or agile methodologies for technology upgrades.

Concerns over cybersecurity further highlight the challenges of creating and running a digitally-powered organisation. More than half of the respondents (55%) acknowledge that their ability to safeguard sensitive data and defend against emerging threats needs improvement.

Anthony Fellowes, Director, Digital, PwC Bermuda

Anthony Fellowes, Director, Digital, PwC Bermuda

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