The multinational professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has announced plans to launch a training programme for 1,000 of its staff to learn blockchain and other emerging technologies.
Called Digital Accelerators and aimed at improving employees’ digital skills, the initiative will replace enrolled staffs’ daily responsibilities with “digital-heavy client work and projects”, according to information gleaned by Digiday.
Employees will also receive weekly tutorials on technologies and techniques including blockchain, data-cleansing, 3D-printing, and drones, with the overarching goal of improving the company’s digital awareness.
It’s not just a bit of future-gazing. According to PwC’s digital and talent leader and head of Digital Accelerators, the scheme was born as a result of client demands and industry competition.
“It just seems table stakes at this point that people should have more technology skills. It’s needed for us to remain competitive and to be responsive for what our clients are also going through,” she said.
By educating staff around core concepts, fewer staff hours will be needed when clients demand related projects. That means PwC will be able to offer its services at a lower cost than competitors.
“Our clients are looking for us to do things more digitally and control the cost of what we’re doing,” explained McEneaney.
While it’s a positive sign an authority in global market trends such as PwC is placing chips on blockchain’s wide adoption, the announcement arrives the same week as the firm’s own report, which shed light on the key hurdles facing blockchain’s adoption.
In a study of 600 executives from 15 countries, the report revealed that 84% of companies were “actively involved” in the technology; PwC explained this uptake, saying no one wants to be “left behind”.
However, in the context of businesses, a lack of regulatory certainty remains a crucial barrier to over 50% of companies. Meanwhile, 45% of respondents cited a lack of trust as a core impediment and 44% noted the difficulty of bringing a network-based business together, among other concerns.