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

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

How to scale your organisation in the cloud

How to overcome common scaling challenges and choose the right scalable cloud service

Download now

The people factor: A critical ingredient for intelligent communications

How to improve communication within your business

Download now

Future of video conferencing

Optimising video conferencing features to achieve business goals

Download now

Improving cyber security for remote working

13 recommendations for security from any location

Download now

Recommended

What is digital transformation?
Business strategy

What is digital transformation?

1 Dec 2020
Apple opens all US stores for the first time in a year
business transformation

Apple opens all US stores for the first time in a year

2 Mar 2021
The people factor: A critical ingredient for intelligent communications
Whitepaper

The people factor: A critical ingredient for intelligent communications

25 Feb 2021
Why digital transformation is essential for business growth
Business strategy

Why digital transformation is essential for business growth

24 Feb 2021

Most Popular

How to build a CMS with React and Google Sheets
content management system (CMS)

How to build a CMS with React and Google Sheets

24 Feb 2021
Microsoft Exchange targeted by China-linked hackers
zero-day exploit

Microsoft Exchange targeted by China-linked hackers

3 Mar 2021
How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

26 Feb 2021