Future of Risk

2019 Global Risk, Internal Audit and Compliance Survey

It’s won or lost in the digital arena

The findings of PwC’s 2019 Global Risk, Internal Audit and Compliance survey emphasise the huge importance of digital transformation in today’s business landscape. Digital’s the area where many companies see the main risks. But it’s also the arena in which organisations can excel and shape their ability to compete successfully going forward.

On its own this conclusion won’t come as any great surprise. But flesh it out with some concrete survey responses and a fascinating picture emerges.

We’ve put together some of the key findings for you to browse. They’re designed to give you a flavour of what the 2019 survey has found out about the mood, current state of affairs and expectations around the world. Feel free to also explore the links to the global findings in the three areas surveyed: the 2019 Risk in Review Study; the 2019 State of the Internal Audit Profession Study; and the 2019 State of Compliance Study.

Return on digital investments: key findings and themes

The majority of respondents believed that the return on digital investments was above or in line with their expectations – especially with regard to improved branding, ability to attract talent, and better customer and employee experience:

  • 69% maintained that the payoff was better or equal to what they had anticipated with regard to improving talent retention and recruitment.
  • 60% said that the payoff was better or equal to what they had anticipated with regard to improving brand and reputation. 
  • 57% stated that the payoff was better or equal to what they had anticipated with regard to employee experience.
  • 55% maintained that the payoff was better or equal to what they had anticipated with regard to customer experience.
  • 55% rated “improved customer experience” as the top reason for investing in digital initiatives.
     
The main barriers and concerns around digital initiatives named by respondents include:
  • Cybersecurity: 51% rated cybersecurity as the top concern associated with digital initiatives.
  • Lack of talent: Two thirds (63%) don’t have a programme in place to attract digital talent. However, the majority are on path to improvement in this field with 53% having identified the capabilities to become a more digital function.
     

Emerging technologies: key findings and themes

The survey reveals a big gap between perceptions of the potential of emerging technologies such as drones, artificial intelligence and robotic process automation, machine learning and blockchain, and companies’ actual progress in implementing them:

  • The business opportunities from the use of drones and artificial intelligence (AI) are available now, and make positive ‘bottom line’ contributions, but most companies aren’t ready to take advantage of them. For example they don’t have the processes or enough digital talent in place.
  • Drones and artificial intelligence: The global survey shows that 80% of respondents ‘do not plan to use in the next two years’ or are ‘unsure’ if they will use drones. Likewise, over half (52%) feel the same way about artificial intelligence.
  • The business opportunities from the development and use of digital assets (e.g. money) are positive, but most companies aren’t ready to take advantage of them. For example, the global survey shows that only 17% of respondents are currently using technologies such as blockchain which enable digital assets. Five per cent of European respondents were using blockchain for assurance purposes.

Check out the key findings of the three components of the survey

State of Internal Audit

Elevating internal audit’s role: The digitally fit function.

Learn more

Risk in Review

Being a smarter risk taker through digital transformation.

Learn more

State of Compliance

Compliance on the forefront: Setting the pace for innovation.

Learn more

Contact us

Andreas Eschbach

Partner and Leader Risk Assurance, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 27 84