COVID-19 has sped up digital transformation efforts

Survey finds COVID-19 has made digitalization projects a priority for most organizations

"Digital transformation" in front of a person in an office

According to a survey by German software firm Software AG, almost all businesses worldwide have undergone digital transformation projects over the last year, and the coronavirus pandemic was a major driver of these changes.

The survey of IT leaders in the US, UK, Germany, and France found that 97% of IT directors said their companies went through digital transformation efforts in 2020. The same number of directors expect that investment to continue in 2021.

Almost all companies (97%) believe their business is resilient, while 95% believe technology will help them tackle future challenges. Of those surveyed, 90% believe customer expectations will increase in 2021.

However, the survey found some significant differences in opinion on whether to consolidate (50%) or diversify (48%) tech portfolios, whether to prioritize product and process (48%) or customer support and service (52%) improvements.

Of the technologies essential in 2021, global IT leaders listed the following as areas of focus: cloud computing (67%), 5G (51%), artificial intelligence (AI) (43%), and integration (43%). 

The report identified three key trends that had happened over the last year. It said that some digital transformation projects had been characterized by delays, limiting their impact.

Related Resource

Moving beyond E-signature

How to elevate the digital customer experience

How to elevate the digital customer experience Download now

“The Covid-19 pandemic prompted more digital investment and a requirement to put measures in place quickly. It has shocked transformation efforts back into action,” said the report’s authors. They added that more businesses are now ready to change and are finally at a stage where their technology can transform "the world around them."

The second trend was that millennials had become decision-makers, resulting in companies deploying and embracing technology in new ways.

The last major trend the report mentioned was resilience-building technology becoming more important than big-bang innovation.

“The instability of 2020, and likelihood that it will continue in the future, means that companies see much more immediate and tangible requirements to change. Whether it’s geo-political, healthcare or economic, the factors testing business resilience are simply too compelling to be ignored,” the report said.

Dr Stefan Sigg, CPO, at Software AG, said the COVID pandemic redefined digital transformation in the enterprise.

“While transformation has been an imperative that IT leaders have been championing for years, it took these historic circumstances for many business leaders to make it a priority,” he said.

“The resulting acceleration was nothing short of miraculous, albeit necessary. Organizations had to take some big dramatic steps – and in some cases a leap of faith – to make their businesses work in the most difficult circumstances. The reward is that the benefits will stretch well beyond the pandemic.”

Featured Resources

Consumer choice and the payment experience

A software provider's guide to getting, growing, and keeping customers

Download now

Prevent fraud and phishing attacks with DMARC

How to use domain-based message authentication, reporting, and conformance for email security

Download now

Business in the new economy landscape

How we coped with 2020 and looking ahead to a brighter 2021

Download now

How to increase cyber resilience within your organisation

Cyber resilience for dummies

Download now

Recommended

Four reasons your digital transformation project could fail
digital transformation

Four reasons your digital transformation project could fail

7 Jun 2021
What is digital transformation?
Business strategy

What is digital transformation?

1 Dec 2020
How LSE is using digital technology to shape the future of higher education
digital transformation

How LSE is using digital technology to shape the future of higher education

15 Jun 2021
Smart devices more than doubled in US homes amid COVID pandemic
Mobile Phones

Smart devices more than doubled in US homes amid COVID pandemic

9 Jun 2021

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

16 Jun 2021
What is HTTP error 400 and how do you fix it?
Network & Internet

What is HTTP error 400 and how do you fix it?

16 Jun 2021
Ten-year-old iOS 4 recreated as an iPhone app
iOS

Ten-year-old iOS 4 recreated as an iPhone app

10 Jun 2021