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New world, new skills

Digital knowledge and skills are transforming the world of work

The digital technology revolution — the Fourth Industrial Revolution — is different from any we have seen before in terms of the speed and scope of change, and the implications for society, business and individuals. 

To remain relevant, every organisation, every government, and every person needs to prepare for this change. For technology to have a positive impact, we need to understand what it is, how to manage it and actively engage both with technology and the choices being made. 

Digitising our business is a top priority at PwC. In support of this, implementation of the New world. New skills global initiative will focus on developing our people, preparing our clients, reaching those who are currently excluded, and being a catalyst for dialogue in every country in which we operate. 


Our clients get more value from our work, as we bring deeper insights, faster and at lower costs and our people get more personal and technical growth. Digitising our business means that everyone gets more.

Digitising our business is a strategic focus for the Africa firm, and by virtue of having the greatest headcount within PwC Africa, the South African firm has a significant role to play in the overall Africa firm becoming more digital. Our new digitisation strategy for the next 12 months will leverage on work done by the PwC network and will focus on upskilling all of our people and making them more digitally astute, including growing their competency with the firm’s digital assets and tools to deliver services to clients.

Pictograph of woman digitalising information

Cloud transformation

Laying a solid foundation for digitising our business started with the introduction of the global Business Operations Solutions (BOS) programme in 2015. The programme has seen the PwC network use technology to transform, disrupt and grow our business by introducing cloud-based systems that have allowed us to reimagine how we work and connect our global ecosystem. 

PwC Africa’s BOS journey, which saw the introduction and adoption of Google G Suite as a collaboration platform, Salesforce as CRM system and Oracle Cloud (the network’s pilot implementation of this finance management solution), reached a momentus point in January 2019 with the launch of Workday, our cloud-based people management system. The implementation of the BOS, which will drive efficiency and standardisation of processes across our Africa operations, also means that we are the first territory in the network to have the full complement of Business Operations Solutions in place and operating simultaneously. 

Our Tomorrow digital upskilling initiative

With the tools in place to enable a digitally connected business, we will be embarking on a number of initiatives that will focus on upskilling our people for a digital world. Due to be introduced from July 2019, these initiatives will be launched under the banner of Our Tomorrow. The goal of the campaign is to develop knowledge and skills that will see our people better equipped to engage with clients. 

Self-paced learning is a key component of the campaign and will be assisted with solutions such as PwC’s Digital Fitness App (DFA),  launched in 2018. The app allows users to assess their digital fitness and improve through a personal learning path. This learning tool, which is also being marketed as a client-facing digital upskilling offering, provides regular content for users to achieve their digital fitness goals. Through the DFA, online learning courses and curated content offered via PwC’s online learning platform, Vantage, the expectation is to provide baseline knowledge in essential technologies. 

Deeper training will be offered on data analytics and robotic process automation (RPA) tools through classroom and online training, with external certification offered to those identified as requiring skills mastery.


Upskill today to transition into tomorrow

Through the Our Tomorrow strategy we aim to digitise our business. No matter our staff's digital skills today, we all need to reach the checkered flag. To help them get there, we will make use of various tools (Digital Fitness App and Vantage Digital Hub) and elearns to do so.

Our tomorrow

The digital up-skill journey

PwC’s Global Innovation Challenge

The annual Global Innovation Challenge uncovers and showcases early stage technology-enabled business solutions and services developed by PwC people across the PwC network. Solutions have to reflect both new business models as well as technology solutions that deliver improved efficiency and quality of service. A few highlights from the 2019 entries:

  • 273 solutions submitted from across the network, including technology solutions that either deliver new business models (58%) or improve the efficiency and quality of the firm’s traditional business (42%).

  • Over 4 000 people from 36 territories were listed as innovators for the 273 solutions.

  • Innovators came from all areas of PwC including Advisory (45%), Assurance (28%), Tax &LegalServices (17%), and Internal Firm Services(12%).

  • Technologies leveraged in the solutions include AI (67%), Robotics (20%), Internet of Things (16%), Blockchain (16%), Augmented and Virtual Reality (4%), and Drones (1%). 

This year’s entries are clear evidence of PwC being a purpose-led and values-driven organisation. One third of the solutions are investments aimed at solving complex societal problems, including fighting cybercrime, leveraging data to cure chronic diseases, upskilling the world’s workforce and digitising cities and government agencies. 

Of the 273 solutions, 20 were shortlisted, based on recommendations received from individual territories. This shortlist was reviewed to consider the overall quality and compliance with firm standards, and PwC had one entry in the shortlist (Read more about our game based psychometric assessment tool). A selection committee chose the final six that was presented at the Global Innovation Challenge in London in April. Through the annual Global Innovation Challenge we give our people the opportunity to to truly live the value of ‘reimagining the possible’.


Contact us

 Rianté Padayachee

Rianté Padayachee

Media and Communications Specialist, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 11 797 5727

Verena Pillay

Verena Pillay

Integrated Content Lead, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 11 797 4873

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