Mazars reveals how global executives are engaging with key tech

Liam McKenna, Mazars

China and India dominate across the board, France and UK lag behind

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14 October 2019 | 0

Audit and advisory firm Mazars has released a new report revealing the extent to which the global c-suite are familiar with, investing in and implementing five key technologies; artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, enterprise resource planning (ERP), Internet of Things (IoT) and robotic process automation (RPA).

The report, titled ‘Are you missing the Tech Train? Global investment and implementation surrounding transformative technologies’, is based on insights from 600 c-suite executives. Those involved shared their perspectives on these game-changing technologies and discussed their investment appetites and the barriers to implementing technology.

Participants were from various industries, sectors and parts of the world (China, France, Germany, India, UK and US).

China and India lead, France and UK lag

According to the report, leaders in China were the most familiar with the five technologies, at 79%. Germany came in second place at 71%, followed by India (69%), the US (64%). France (53%) and the UK (44%) performed the worst.

AI is the technology most respondents were familiar with.

In terms of investment, Indian respondents were the most inclined to increase their budgets dedicated to these five technologies. Respondents in France and the UK were the most reluctant to increasing these budgets.

China and India were the most likely to have implemented at least one of the technologies. Across the board, these countries share the highest adoption rates of all five technologies. France and UK were the least likely to have implemented any.

The insurance and manufacturing sectors had the highest rates of implementation, while the public sector had the lowest. Indeed, 50% of respondents working in the public sector said ‘nothing is happening’ with the five technologies.

Benefits and barriers

It also identified benefits and barriers of the technologies. Cost savings (27%), business model transformation (26%) and improvements in quality (24%) were the main anticipated benefits.

Commonly cited barriers were obtaining necessary financial resources (25%); finding talent and skills that can fully grasp and exploit the technology (23%); and market maturity (22%).

“The findings show that India and China are ahead of some of our closer neighbours, such as the UK and France,” said Liam McKenna, consulting partner and head of RPA at Mazars Ireland. “We see Ireland in a similar position to these close neighbours with awareness growing but many organisations still only educating themselves on the technology and the opportunities.

“There are questions as to how quickly these Irish organisations will move from education to implementation. With significant uncertainty in the economy at the moment, the risk remains that Irish organisations will fall behind our international competitors through delaying the education and subsequently implementation period for these transformational technologies.”

Guillaume Devaux, partner, head of technology sector at Mazars, comments: Our findings show strong forward momentum in regard to these five game-changing technologies – with China and India leading the pack. Overall, familiarity levels are high, leaders see the impact these technologies can have, and they have plans to increase investment. But there are areas of concern and certain sectors and countries pale in comparison with others.

“Leaders who think they’re falling behind need to discover which technology will create significant competitive advantage for their organisation. They should remember that successful tech transformation journeys require broad backing – from a company’s leadership and the team at large. Leaders may set the vision – but they must work with others to realise it.”

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