Focus on people and culture to drive transformation

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Industry 4.0 has significant implications for the way in which a company chooses to organise itself and its delivery model. Companies will need to make sure staff understand how the company is changing and how they can be a part of it. From our interviews with companies in the Middle East, the biggest challenges centre on internal issues such as culture, organisation, leadership and skills.

The absence of a digital culture and the right training was identified as the single biggest challenge by Middle East survey participants. Over half (54%) put it in their top three challenges. In this respect, they are in good company as changing the culture was the leading issue across all the sectors we surveyed worldwide with 50% of those in our global survey ranking it in their top three challenges.

The extent of the internal culture challenge is highlighted by the fact that it ranks above external issues, such as whether the right standards, infrastructure and intellectual property protection are in place. While also important, they are not ranked by the companies in our survey at the top of their list of challenges.

For many companies, culture is linked closely with the need to have clear vision and leadership from top management about the direction of digital operations. This was an important issue globally but is less of a concern at this stage for our Middle East survey participants who appear to be more confident that their company does have a digital vision. In our global survey 40% put top management digital leadership and vision as a leading concern but only a quarter (25%) of Middle East participants had similar concerns.

Instead, in the Middle East, worries about leadership were pushed aside by concerns about the high financial investment requirements of digital operations capabilities. This was identified as a leading challenge by 42% of Middle East participants compared to 36% in the global survey. All these factors go hand in hand. It will be important for top management to identify clearly the benefits that they see ahead and to ensure they are communicated well to external and internal stakeholders.

The top challenges identified by the surveyed companies are a lack of digital culture, the high financial investment requirement and unclear economic benefits of digital investments.

Middle East: Lack of digital culture and training is the biggest challenge facing companies (graph)

Contact us

Anil Khurana

Anil Khurana

Partner, Strategy and Innovation,
Lead Consumer and Industrial Products , PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 4 304 3100

Reinhard Geissbauer

Reinhard Geissbauer

Head of EMEA Industry 4.0 Digital Operations Team, PwC Middle East

Tel: +49 170 939 1263

Jatin Arora

Jatin Arora

Director - Consumer and Industrial Products, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 56 418 9789

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