By Evgenios Evgeniou
According to PwC’s Global CEO Survey, technology is playing a leading role in today’s business world, leaving its own distinct mark. The impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is fully appreciated with 80 per cent of CEOs in Cyprus saying that AI will significantly change the way they conduct their business in the next five years.
However, few companies seem to have acted in this area with only 16 per cent declaring that they have taken initiatives for the use of AI systems. The survey also highlights the importance of data for decision-making on the long-term success and durability of businesses. However, gaps in the adequacy of the data available to CEOs are identified, mainly due to data siloing and lack of shared use, poor data reliability and the lack of talent with data analytical skills.
The case for digital transformation has been made, and organisations across industries are committed to change. In fact the speed of technological change and Cyber threats are the two top business concerns for CEOs in Cyprus. But there is no one-size-fits-all approach to going digital, as leadership focuses on unique business conditions and the experiences of their diverse customers and employees. PwC worked with Oxford Economics to survey 2,280 executives in more than 60 countries, including 30 responses in Cyprus. The results show that Cypriot executives are focused on senior management’s role in digital strategy, but must bring the broader workforce into their transformation efforts.
It is clear that the use of technology is becoming a key challenge as the advancement of the digital age are shaping the future for businesses and the society in general. Business success as well as the improvement of quality of life will depend on how this challenge will be addressed and how new technological capabilities will be utilised.
To effectively harness technology, education and retraining is key as well as a culture that adapts to the new realities. Businesses should invest in the development of their people’s digital skills in order to be prepared to address the powerful forces of the digital future. To succeed in this new environment, business leaders should also foster skills such as proactivity, empathy, teamwork and creativity as these represent the building blocks of a modern business culture that can generate positive and sustainable outcomes.
Evgenios Evgeniou is the CEO of PwC Cyprus