- 53% of senior executives identify data and analytics as their top investment priority over the next two years
- Cloud, internet of things and artificial intelligence complete technology investment mix
- High costs and skills shortages seen as top challenges that can hinder plans
- Technology is fundamental to transformation, but success will be driven by humans at its center
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%).
Errol Gardner, EY Global Vice Chair – Consulting, says:
“Data is emerging as the strategic currency of our time and making the transition to a digital-first organization is an urgent priority in every sector, right across the globe. For businesses, the first step to successfully navigate this new era is the adoption of a transformation plan that sets a bold vision for the enterprise’s future with data at its core.
“While investing in the right technology mix can be a costly and complex process, business leaders know that if their organizations fail to adapt to today’s fast pace of change, they face being leap-frogged and becoming obsolete.”
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.
Gardner says: “Combined with the right technology strategy, the right talent strategy is the key to the new generation of data centricity. Those organizations that put the human experience squarely in the center of transformation by encouraging the spread of data literacy, and the digital mobilization of the broader workforce are those who will succeed.”
To read the full report, please visit: ey.com/techhorizon.
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About the EY Tech Horizon 2022
Tech Horizon is the bi-annual EY report on the state and evolution of technology strategy in the enterprise.
In Q4 of 2021, the EY team conducted a global survey of 1,668 senior executives on the role of technology in transformation. More than half of the respondents were from the C-suite, and all were ranked director or above. The panel represented 12 countries and seven industries, and all respondents were from companies with US$1 billion or more in revenues.
In addition, we shared the research findings with 10 senior technology and data executives for their insights.