Industrial Companies That Invest in Digital Benefit from Increased Growth

Industrial companies from all sectors across Canada are increasingly focused on building a digital strategy as an essential component to remaining globally competitive.

According to PwC’s global study, “Industry 4.0: Building the digital enterprise,” the trend towards greater digitisation is taking hold across Canada: about one third of companies already rate their level of digitisation as high, and this value is expected to rise on average from 31% to 57% (vs 33% to 72% globally) within the next five years.

“Factors such as our economic climate, which necessitates diversification beyond resources, currency advantage and our world-class pool of engineering and technology talent positions the Canadian Industrial sector to be a global manufacturing leader,” says Matthew Wetmore, National Industrial Products Leader, PwC Canada. “A new era of digital maturity will facilitate a shift from focusing only on products in favour of establishing platforms that will enable better integration with customers, improved ability to access and leverage data and ultimately better understand and anticipate customer needs.”

According to the report, industrial companies are projected to spend just over $900 billion per year over the next five years on going digital and of those, 55% (65% in Canada) of them are expected to show significant returns within two years. Over 80% (in Canada and globally) of companies expect data analytics will have a significant influence on their decision-making processes in five years’ time.

“First movers are recognizing the importance of transforming the way they optimize different technologies, focusing on talent, and investing in developing a knowledge-based workforce,” adds Wetmore. “Implementing the concepts outlined in the report is about more than acquiring the necessary technology, it means focusing on the creation of a digital culture, establishing the right business model and investing in the development of the right talent in order to successfully go to market.”

According to the report, 73% of Canadian companies thought investing in employee training is the most important strategy to ensure a successful transition to a digital culture. However, almost 45% (vs 40% globally) of Canadian companies surveyed rely on the analytics expertise of individual employees and only 12% have dedicated data analytics departments.