Spending is accelerating, with cloud technologies at the forefront
Worldwide spending on digital transformation reached 1.59 trillion U.S. dollars in 2021, up over 20 percent on the previous year. The pandemic is considered to have boosted digital transformation efforts, with the rise of remote work prompting businesses to embrace cloud technologies. Indeed, adapting existing IT solutions using cloud extensions was the most common approach to digital transformation among organizations worldwide in 2022, with the global public cloud market estimated to have reached over 490 billion U.S. dollars. Almost 90 percent of organizations worldwide had implemented cloud technologies as of 2022, the highest adoption rate of any emerging technology.
AI adoption varies across industries
AI represents the cutting edge of digital transformation initiatives, yet adoption rates of AI tech vary widely across business sectors. The technology and telecommunications sector lead the way, with high adoption rates in product and service development, while financial services have embraced AI in service operations. When implemented, AI and machine learning can enable intelligent decision-making for executives via predictive modeling and enhanced service for customers through personalization and automated chatbots. Yet the complexities associated with AI implementation set a high bar for entry, posing challenges for smaller organizations with restricted budgets.
Transforming the workforce
The widespread adoption of new digital processes has spurred a reassessment on the role of the workforce, with certain technologies requiring specialized skills and competencies. While new hires will often be central to any business transformation, an increasing share of organizations are placing an emphasis on upskilling or reskilling existing employees via learning and development programs. For example, a quarter of organizations worldwide planned to deploy data analysis or analytics programs in 2022, up from 18 percent in 2021, while 30 percent planned to run digital fluency or transformation programs. For employees, digital upskilling is a means of achieving success in the job market, with interest in learning digital skills particularly high in emerging economies such as India and China.
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