Category Archives: PwC

What did we learn from PwC’s local government survey?

City HallPwC has recently released findings from its annual survey, The Local State We’re In, which assesses the challenges facing local government and their responses to them, as well as looking at public opinion on the organizations capabilities.

Here, we’ve pulled out four of the lessons we learnt from the report:

Data Analytics is top of the agenda for CEOs and Local Government Leaders

A healthy 91% of the Chief Execs surveyed confirmed Data Analytics was an area which they were well equipped. This in fact was the most popular answer for this specific question, as other areas such as business intelligence (59%), supply chain management (55%) and information governance & records management (40%) fared less so.

While it is encouraging the leaders are confident in their team’s ability to perform in the data analytics world, the research also stated local government’s use of structured and unstructured data varies quite considerably. 71% of the Chief Execs agreed they were using structured data (e.g. information in government controlled databases), whereas this number drops to 33% when unstructured data (e.g. social media and data generated through search engines) is the focal point of the question.

As the consumer continues its drive towards digital and the connected world, the level of insight which can be derived through unstructured data, social media in particular, will continue to increase. Back in 1998 Merrill Lynch said 80-90% of all potentially usable business information may originate in unstructured form. This rule of thumb is not based on primary or any quantitative research, but is still accepted by some in the industry. Even if this number has dropped, there is a vast amount of information and insight which is being missed by the local government.

But data driven decision making isn’t

Throughout the industry, data driven decision making has been seen as one of the hottest growing trends, and also as the prelude to the introduction of artificial intelligence.

Despite the media attention such ideas are receiving, it would appear these trends are not translating through to local government. Only 41% of the respondents said their organization is using data analytics to inform decision making and strategy. It would appear local government is quite effective (or at least confident) at managing data, but not so much at using it for insight.

Digital Device Tablet Laptop Connection Networking Technology ConceptPublic is not confident in local government’s ability to embrace digital

Although leadership within the local authorities themselves are happy with the manner in which their organization has embraced digital, this confidence is not reflected by the general public.

76% of Chief Execs who participated in the research are confident in their own digital strategies, however only 23% of the general public are confident in the council’s ability to manage the transition through to digital. This is down from 28% in the same survey during 2015 and 29% in 2014. The findings could demonstrate the rigidity of government bodies, especially at a local level, as it would appear the evolution of emerging technologies is outstripping local government’s ability to incorporate these new ideas and tools.

There is also quite a significant difference in how the public and the Chief Execs view cyber security. While only 17% of the Chief Execs believe their organization is at risk from cyber threats, 70% of the general public are not confident local government will be able to manage and share their personal information appropriately. 2016 has already seen a number of high profile data breaches which could have an impact on the opinions of the general public. If tech savvy enterprise organizations such as TalkTalk cannot defend themselves, it may be perceived that public sector organizations are less likely to do so.

However, local government does have the backing from the public to invest in digital

The general public would not appear to currently have great confidence in the local government’s current ability to embrace the digital age however they have seemingly given their blessing for the local government to continue investments.

39% of the general public who completed the survey highlighted their preference for engagement with local government would be through a digital platform, as opposed to the 24% who would prefer the telephone and 28% who would rather engage in person. Unfortunately, while digital is the most popular option for engaging, only 37% were satisfied with the current digital access to local government, down from 38% in last year’s research.

PWC buys CRM and sales automation specialist Outbox

PwC is to acquire technology consultant Poland-based Outbox Group, a cloud-based CRM and sales automation specialist.

The addition of 250 employees from Outbox, a partner of Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle and SAP, will raise PWC’s headcount of technology specialists to almost 3,000 across EMEA. The acquisition agreement, signed on 31 December 2015, is expected to formally complete by January 31 2016.

Formed in 2005, Outbox provides consultancy over CRM, customer experience and marketing automation to 150 customers including Sky, Vodafone and Inmarsat. The Warsaw-based consultancy has now completed 250 CRM projects and has international offices in the UK, Germany, France and the Czech Republic.

The potential market for customer experience, CRM and digital is estimated at €6 billion according to PwC’s UK and EMEA Consulting Leader, Ashley Unwin. “This acquisition represents an investment in emerging markets and establishes centre of excellence for customer and digital capabilities within PwC in Europe,” said Unwin.

UK-based Outbox managing director Nicholas Mobbs will join PwC as a partner. “We are excited to join a leading consulting brand and combine business advice with user experience, marketing automation and CRM skills and services,” said Mobbs.

In other PWC news, cloud computing is contributing to a confidence crisis among enterprise chief executives, according to PWC’s global chairman Dennis Nally. Speaking at the 2016 Davos World Economic Forum, Nally said the cloud-based integrated global economy means that the world’s hot spots can instantly transmit end to end instability across the world.

Quoting the results of PwC’s 19th Annual Global CEO Survey, Nally said there were two outstanding sentiments among the survey group of 1,409 CEOs in 83 countries. The global economy and geopolitical tensions, the top two concerns, are interlinked now that technology acts as a lightning rod between hot spots, according to Nally. “We all know how integrated the global economy really is and not looking good is how I’d put it,” Nally told CNBC.

PwC, Rosslyn partner on cloudy big data

PwC is teaming up with Rosslyn to help bring analytics-based insights to clients

PwC is teaming up with Rosslyn to help bring analytics-based insights to clients

Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) announced a partnership with Rosslyn Analytics that will see the two firms jointly develop and offer cloud-based big data services to clients.

The two companies said they plan to use Rosslyn’s suite of cloud-enabled data technologies when advising clients on supply chain risk reduction, productivity optimisation and cost reduction, with PwC bringing its deep knowledge of different verticals to the table.

“For our clients, acquiring the knowledge most important to their operations, securing that information and using it optimally are critical – now more than ever before. We are delighted to be teaming up with Rosslyn to offer our joint knowledge and capabilities to clients – giving them one place to go, maximizing experience and assets from both organizations,” said Yann Bonduelle, PwC partner and head of data analytics.

“In our most recent survey of business leaders, 75 per cent of UK CEOs say that data and data analytics are proving valuable to them, whilst 79 per cent see data mining and analysis as one of the top digital technologies. This highlights how important it is to our clients to embrace the technology available to give them greater competitive advantage,” Bonduelle added.

Charles Clark, chief executive of Rosslyn Analytics, said: “Our collaboration is about helping clients to embrace their journey in analytics, and transform their organisations to thrive and maintain relevance in a rapidly changing world. An increasing number of companies, large and small, look to our data technologies to help them reduce costs and risks, and improve their revenue and productivity across their businesses.”

Like KPMG and others in the big four, PwC has struck several deals with cloud and data services providers in a bid to add more value to its client offerings. The company most recently struck a deal with Google that has seen it work closely with its clients to tailor Google Apps for Work to their specific business processes and needs, and help them optimise their operations.