Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Tech Acumen: Many Companies Falling Behind

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.

Corporate America and companies around the globe are spending vast amounts of money trying to keep up with all sorts of threats in this new digital age. So, how are companies really doing?

Unfortunately, not so well. Indeed, according to PwC's 2017 Digital IQ Survey, as reported by PR Daily, barely more than half of IT executives from the US and 52 other countries reported that their companies have a "strong digital IQ." This is down from 67 percent so reporting in 2016, and 66 percent in 2015.

What is going on? The problem is not that corporate employees somehow have become less tech competent during the last year. Rather, they are struggling to keep up with many different demands -- from IT, to social media, to a company's online culture.

PR Daily notes that as business processes become more digital, there is greater complexity, and there is increased risk and uncertainty with respect to potential privacy violations, data breaches, and various types of hacks. On top of this, there are further and constant innovations; for example, like the "internet of things," as to which 42% of executives report it to be "disruptive to their business model."

According to PwC, there are an "essential eight" quickly developing technologies to grapple with effectively. These include not only the internet of things, but also artificial intelligence, robotics, 3-D printing, augmented reality, virtual reality, drones and blockchain. Yes, indeed, there truly is much to grapple here.

If you already are at wake at night pondering all of this, you are not alone, as respondents reported that their companies were spending only 18% of their tech budgets on emerging technologies.

The Harvard Business Review, cited by PR Daily, asserts that companies must raise the digital IQ of their employees. To do that, they must invest in the technological tools to accomplish that goal.

And there must be constant training and flexible planning to deal with the ever-changing digital landscape. Very true!

Eric Sinrod (@EricSinrod on Twitter) is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP, where he focuses on litigation matters of various types, including information technology and intellectual property disputes. You can read his professional biography here. To receive a weekly email link to Mr. Sinrod's columns, please email him at ejsinrod@duanemorris.com with Subscribe in the Subject line. This column is prepared and published for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author's law firm or its individual partners.

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