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

Next-generation time series: Forecasting for the real world, not the ideal world

Solve time series problems with AI

Free download

The future of productivity

Driving your business forward with Microsoft Office 365

Free download

How to plan for endpoint security against ever-evolving cyber threats

Safeguard your devices, data, and reputation

Free download

A quantitative comparison of UPS monitoring and servicing approaches across edge environments

Effective UPS fleet management

Free download

Recommended

How to manage people successfully from a distance
Business strategy

How to manage people successfully from a distance

27 Oct 2021
Technology and tactics to support your hospitality business
Whitepaper

Technology and tactics to support your hospitality business

27 Oct 2021
IDC agility assessment
Whitepaper

IDC agility assessment

5 Oct 2021
ITSM workflow handbook: No more "If only I could do X"
Whitepaper

ITSM workflow handbook: No more "If only I could do X"

5 Oct 2021

Most Popular

UK spy agencies supercharge espionage efforts with AWS data deal
cloud computing

UK spy agencies supercharge espionage efforts with AWS data deal

26 Oct 2021
Best Linux distros 2021
operating systems

Best Linux distros 2021

11 Oct 2021
Cryptocurrency: Should you invest?
cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency: Should you invest?

27 Oct 2021