Poor IT skills ‘slowing firms’

An unwillingness to adapt to new technologies or a general level of ignorance to them may be holding businesses back from their full potential.

Poor IT skills ‘slowing firms’

A new report suggests that leveraging emerging technology like cloud and mobile can drastically improve business differentiation and profitability but argues that businesses are failing to adapt to, and adopt, technological advances at a quick enough pace.

Management and technology consultants, BearingPoint, also urged firms to integrate digital thinking into their business model if they are to retain and develop their markets.

Commenting on the findings of the digital strategy report, BearingPoint Ireland partner Michael O’Dwyer said businesses here can benefit massively from adopting new technologies and help them remain relevant in an increasingly connected environment.

“Irish businesses can forge an entirely new digital environment using technologies like big data and cloud computing. These are widely available and widely regarded, and can have hugely transformative effects on a business, particularly in delivering new value to customers.

“Adoption of these new technologies drives up not only productivity and efficiency, but profitability. An innovative Ireland that embraces this new digital economy will not only remain relevant, but encourage business creation and attract continued foreign investment,” said Mr O’Dwyer.

BearingPoint figures suggest the online market will constitute 20% of the entire world market by 2030. Ireland’s internet economy is worth about 5% GDP, and is estimated to grow to 10%, or €21.1bn, by 2020.

A recent report from UPC on Ireland’s digital future estimated that Irish people spent €6bn online in 2014 but Irish consumers tend to shop far more with international, rather than Irish, retailers in a further sign of companies slower adoption of digital.

Among the recommendations of the report is the development of an ecosystem of partners from different industries that can deliver new value to the business.

BearingPoint also suggest that employees need to learn to “trust the machine” by using big data to drive algorithms and accelerate decision-making.

The ability to extend digital into ‘mass personalised’ bundled services, whereby services are tailored to the specific needs of customers, is identified as a key success metric in the adoption of digital into business processes too.

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