While 98pc of business leaders considered technology key in the last year, 32pc say a lack of in-house expertise is a barrier to digital adoption.
A new survey from Dell Technologies has shown that 68pc of Irish business owners plan to accelerate their digital transformation, with an overwhelming 98pc believing that digital adoption was key to navigating the past year.
The Digital Adoption Study 2021 surveyed 147 business leaders in Ireland.
Undertaken by the Executive Institute on behalf of Dell Technologies, it hoped to unpack how the pandemic has changed the perspective of Irish business leaders on technology.
It also collected views on how digital adoption will help businesses to embrace new opportunities to grow and succeed in a data-driven era.
Of those surveyed, 84pc stated that supporting a hybrid workforce with employees working remotely and from the office is the greatest business challenge that technology can help address over the next one to three years.
Technology was also predicted to play a key role in organisational resilience and reducing costs.
With a clear emphasis on the importance of technology, 53pc of business leaders in Ireland plan to invest more in technology to compete in the modern market, particularly after the experience of the past year.
With that said, the survey also identified key obstacles in the digital transformation race.
The majority of leaders (51pc) said that upfront costs were a barrier, with one in three saying there was a lack of in-house skills and one in five citing an absence of digital culture within their company.
Another important area of focus in digital adoption was 5G, with 67pc highlighting it as an extremely or very important technology to stay connected to a remote workforce.
Many were unaware of the possible future benefits of 5G however, with 51pc responding that they didn’t know anything about these possibilities.
“5G will prove to be game-changer in an increasingly data-driven era. Despite business leaders valuing the benefit it can bring in connecting employees, 5G is more than just enhanced connectivity,” said Jason Ward, managing director of Dell Technologies Ireland.
“It is converging with AI, edge computing, cloud and robotics to accelerate the fourth industrial revolution. With 75pc of business data to be processed at the edge by 2025, organisations need to begin assessing how 5G and edge computing can fit into their IT transformation programme and deliver real benefits on the road to recovery.”
Ward highlighted that, while companies faced challenges of an unprecedented scale over the past year, business leaders appreciated how digital adoption had helped them maintain connectivity.
“By taking the learnings of the past year into account, business leaders can ensure that the advancements made through necessity can be built upon to foster a technology-enabled recovery.”