Business leaders are preparing to enter a new era where their organizations’ operations, decision-making and interactions with customers and employees will be driven by data.
This is according to EY Tech Horizon 2022, a global survey of more than 1,600 senior executives across seven industries, on the role of technology in their transformation plans.
More than half or respondents (53%) identified data and analytics as their top investment priority to build their transformation strategy over the next two years, an increase from 35% compared with the 2020 survey results. Combined with a new technology infrastructure of cloud (49%), internet of things (IoT) (42%) and artificial intelligence (AI) (35%), business leaders are laying the digital foundation to help them realize maximum value from their technology investment.
Businesses are planning to extract value from these investments by predicting trends and needs of customers (44%), creating new products (42%) and improving existing products and operations (34%). At the same time, business leaders report significant data and technology barriers to executing their transformation plans. More than a third of the executives surveyed (35%) cited the high cost of technology as their number one challenge, followed by complex security and privacy requirements (27%) and the complexity of integrating multiple systems (25%).
“We are in a new era, where every decision, process and interactions of the enterprise is driven by data. While investing in the right technology mix can be a costly and complex process, making the transition to a digital-first organization is an urgent priority in every sector, right across the globe”, says Bogdan Ion, Country Managing Partner EY Romania & Moldova and Chief Operating Officer for EY South-East & Central Europe and Central Asia (CESA).
Humans remain at the center of technology-enabled change
According to EY Tech Horizon 2022, skills shortages are a constraint on businesses looking to make the leap toward becoming a data-centric enterprise, with 71% of respondents saying that their companies are increasing spend to develop technology skills.
At the same time, respondents pointed out the challenges of successfully upskilling (30%), the struggle to retain existing skilled talent (29%) and high compensation requirements (25%) as leading barriers to acquiring digital skills. Given the structural talent shortage, upskilling and retention take center stage with 70% of respondents saying that they are focusing on re-skilling rather than hiring.