Key priority: improving digital capabilities

A survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found the top priority for family businesses in the coming years is to improve their digital capabilities.

As part of its UK Family Business Outlook study, PwC conducted in-depth interviews with key decision makers within family businesses in order to better understand issues central to those firms. The research revealed the main priority is to improve digital capabilities, a term used to describe the skills and attitudes needed in today’s digital business world.

In total, 60% of family business leaders ranked this as their top concern, which is perhaps unsurprising given the massive digital shift witnessed since the onset of the pandemic. This finding also appears to reflect the fact that few family businesses feel they are particularly proficient in this area, with the research showing just 14% had reached a ‘fixed’ digital strategy with a strong capability in place.

Suzi Woolfson, a private business partner at PwC, commented, “In 2020, the winners were those who already had an online presence. As consumers, we’re never going back to ‘store only’. So, digitisation is happening from the front office to the back office. During COVID-19, we’ve seen stop gaps created but there’s a long way to go to digitise all of these processes.

All details are correct at the time of writing (11 May 2021).