One third of Irish companies have no digitalisation strategy – Siemens

Gary O'Callaghan, Chief Executive of Siemens Ireland

Siemens study highlights missed opportunity to increase productivity and boost competitiveness.

Almost one third of Irish companies have no digital strategy, according to a report recently launched by Siemens. The report highlights that Irish companies have yet to fully appreciate and unlock the value presented by digitalisation, which involves integrating Big Data and New Business Models to deliver increased productivity and boost competitiveness.

‘Digitalisation: Unlocking the Potential’ explores the current level of adoption among Irish companies across all sectors with a focus on Ireland’s food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, electrical and electronics industries – as well as the barriers they face when it comes to embracing digitalisation.

Gary O’Callaghan, chief executive, Siemens Ireland, said: “As a world leader in the fields of electrification and automation, Siemens recognises the opportunity that digitalisation presents to Irish businesses in boosting competitiveness and using resources and skills more efficiently. It’s essential that Irish companies position themselves to take advantage of the benefits of digitalisation. If we are not doing it in Ireland, somebody somewhere is, which is a threat to the sustainability of Irish business.”

Launching the report, the chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment Hildegarde Naughton TD stated, “This report from Siemens is a wake up call for us all to redouble our efforts to ensure that the Irish business community is a global leader in innovation. It is by both government and business working together and investing together that we can ensure that Ireland is ready to reap the benefits of a digital future.”

Key findings:
• Digital strategies: foundations laid for some, but more planning is required.
• 29 per cent of Irish businesses have no defined digital strategy.
• While 43 per cent have defined digital strategies for portions of their business, less than one third have such a strategy for the company as a whole.
• Only about one quarter have conducted an economic feasibility study or an analysis of workflow with a digital focus.
• At present, almost half cannot identify a digitalisation project in their company’s medium-term plans.
• When it comes to implementing technologies, over half are still in the initial/planning phase.

Key drivers and barriers
• Almost half (46 per cent) of respondents say they are familiar with digitalisation, but close to one third (29 per cent) don’t know much about it.
• 40 per cent are confident their company has the skills required to evaluate emerging technology.
• Among the key barriers to implementation are funding required (67 per cent), operating costs for licences and software updates (57 per cent), training employees (47 per cent) and a lack of partners to implement new technologies (37 per cent). One in three (33 per cent) also laments the lack of tax advantages for investment in digitalisation.

Technology trends
• Two thirds (67 per cent) say the development of new software and apps is the top tech trend for them, however, only one third have actually implemented these.
• 66 per cent believe the digital technology of tomorrow is cyber-physical systems and the Internet of Things (IoT) – the integration of people, products and devices.
• One quarter report they’ve made good progress in relation to IoT.

The Siemens ‘Digitalisation: Unlocking the Potential’ report can be viewed at: