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More than half of business and IT leaders (57%) cite revenue growth as the greatest value that they expect from digital technology investments, up from 45% the previous year, finds PwC in a new report [pdf]. The growing expectation for revenue gains appears to be at the expense of the customer experience, which declined as the biggest value objective (down from 25% to 10% of respondents).

The objective to increase profits stayed steady at 12%, suggesting a greater overall emphasis on financial gains.

Hurdles to Results

Organization heads perceive that having a lack of properly skilled teams (24%) and insufficient integration of new and existing technologies and data (22%) are the principal barriers to achieving results from their digital technology initiatives. Looking toward the future, they report having concern over outdated technologies (42%) in addition to ongoing lack of skilled teams (39%) and inadequate integration of technologies (37%), as potential challenges.

Recent research likewise finds that lack of talent has been a key hindrance in CMOs’ ability to further leverage marketing analytics at their organizations.

Where Are Emerging Tech Budgets Going?

Almost three-quarters of executives surveyed said they were making substantial investments in the Internet of Things (IoT), though fewer (two-thirds) said they would be making the same level of investments in three years. By then artificial intelligence (AI) will have taken stronger root: this year 54% of participants are making large investments in AI, but a greater proportion (63%) see this becoming an area where they will invest heavily in 3 years.

(If an improved user experience were the main goal, both AI and the IoT would seem to have large roles to play.)

Disruptive Technologies

Among the various technologies cited in the report, the largest proportion of respondents (36%) reported that the Internet of Things was the most disruptive to their industry and their business model (42%). AI was next, with 30% finding it the most disruptive to their industry and, 22% the most disruptive to their business model. Participants agreed that, for the most part, virtual reality, drones and blockchain are the least disruptive.

About the Data: PwC surveyed 2,216 IT and business leaders from 53 countries, the majority of whom work in organizations with revenues of $1 billion or more.

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