As all the digital strengths come together to form a perfect storm, everything is turned upside down, irrespective of company size, industry or market. Companies everywhere are forced to rethink their business models from scratch. Faster than ever before, they must put all their energy into coming up with convincing recipes for success that will find favour among clients in the long term. At PwC Digital Services, we make a wide variety of instruments available to our clients, ranging from digital strategy and experience creation to data analytics and the confident use of artificial intelligence, right through to software development and cybersecurity.

Our Digital Services service line significantly increased its contribution to revenue in all units. Overall growth stood at 32% or CHF 5 million in comparison with the previous year. Cybersecurity enjoyed the highest level of growth at 87%, followed by data analytics at 21% and digital at 13%. We extended our commitment to existing clients by 32%. We mainly provided services for digitisation processes and digital training.

A market in motion

A large number of international service providers acquired small and medium-sized digital boutiques in the reporting year. There is a greater willingness to cooperate within traditional industries and across a range of different sectors. There is a trend towards joining forces to create digital platforms, partly in response to the market power of digital giants from the US and Asia. Such companies take a consistently strategic approach and set up powerful ec(h)osystems. They are strengthening their presence and their influence in Europe. Cooperation with innovative start-up networks and the development of the technical art of the possible are growing, especially with regard to artificial intelligence. At the same time, uncertainty and mistrust regarding data protection and privacy are rife among consumers.

Ambitious objectives

We want to continue to expand our capacities and problem-solving expertise in the financial year 2018/19. This includes enhancing our range of services: we help our clients to implement digital modernisation initiatives of all kinds, right through to company-wide programmes for digital transformation or new inventions. We are also stepping up the use of synergies with PwC Europe by combining functional and industry-specific expertise with technological solution modules. We are linking our brand promise of “Trust” to the digital agenda to our clients’ advantage.

Undergoing radical change

Our most difficult challenge is time: markets, functions and industries are increasingly merging together as a result of digitisation, whilst decisions and their implementation are taking place at a much faster pace. Processes need to become more flexible – not only in terms of content, but also with regard to “convenience” and “experience”. Regulations must not lag behind, but instead should remain as valuable as ever. The demands placed on managerial staff are growing, and the call for new diversity and digital expertise on decision-making boards cannot be ignored.

Combining traditional approaches with disruption

We want to give our clients strategic support throughout their digital transformation by shifting the emphasis from service provision to problem-solving with recurring income and managed service elements. To do so, we are implementing a strength rotation model. We are establishing a context in which to utilise the opportunities of digitisation and at the same time taking into account the requirements in terms of compliance and independence. This means that we must bring our culture of assurance, advisory, and tax & legal into line with the demands of the digital world. The key factors in the 4.0 era are and remain credibility and trust.