March 7, 2021

PwC survey finds high level of ambition for digital transformation in Caribbean region

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70% of organisations meeting or exceeding targets on digitisation

● Over half expect at least 30% of their employees to work remotely post- pandemic
● ● 73% say digital transformation boosts productivity …but 46% are behind in upskilling workers

Hamilton, Bermuda—Caribbean businesses have set bold ambitions for digitisation, but PwC’s Caribbean Digital Readiness Survey 2021 reveals a wide gap between organisations out in front and those struggling to make headway. But that leaves more than a quarter in the Caribbean region who acknowledge that they are behind target. Moreover, only 15% believe that their digital fitness is on a par with or ahead of the leaders in their industry (“transcenders”).

Key findings include:

  • More than 80% of businesses in our survey are focusing their digital strategy on modernising their brand with new capabilities ahead of doing what they’ve always done faster and more efficiently (62%).
  • Almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents believe that use of digital technologies and behaviours has boosted workforce productivity. And over half (57%) believe it has increased employee satisfaction.
  • The survey finds well over half (56%) of companies expect at least 30% of their employees to work remotely more than one day a week a year from now.
  • However, for Caribbean organisations, further upskilling is critical. Nearly half of respondents (46%) believe their organisation is behind in training workers with skills for the digital era. They cited lack of time and budget as the top barriers to upskilling their workforce with the lack of alignment/clarity on roles and responsibilities relating to digital ownership, and inflexible or slow processes as the biggest challenges to their overall digital transformation.
  • Building on PwC’s Global Digital IQ framework, this is the first Caribbean region study to gauge progress on digital transformation.

Frazer Lindsay, PwC in the Caribbean CEO, commented: “The findings from our survey provide valuable insights into how far regional businesses have come in their digital journey, how they can accelerate progress, and what they can learn from the front-runners – the transcenders. The key take-away is that digital transformation is as much about workforce capabilities and empowerment as systems and technology.

“The transcenders are making the most of their investment in new technology by upskilling their workforce, instilling an innovative mindset within their organisations and encouraging their people to embrace experimentation and change even if sometimes they fail. Across PwC in the Caribbean, we are pleased to bring our collective expertise and technology to help our clients solve these challenges and fast-track digital transformation.”

Zia Paton, PwC Trinidad and Tobago partner and digital leader for PwC in the Caribbean, commented: “Digital transformation is not about launching a single new tech product, or automating one simple process. It’s about creating an entirely new way for teams to work, and for organisations to a journey that most respondents only began in the past three years. But 2020’s shift to digital and remote working forced
by the pandemic has increased pressure to accelerate progress.

“The game-changing potential of digitisation includes more informed data-driven decisions, a more compelling employee and customer experience, and more tailored and targeted products and services. With so many digital possibilities, however, it’s critical to invest in the right ones.”

Respondents in our November 2020 survey to gauge the digital readiness of their organisations and priorities for the future, included 92 senior executives from leading businesses in a variety of industries across the Caribbean, including: The Bahamas, East Caribbean, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Find the full report: at Follow us on Twitter: @PwC_caribbean

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