HCL Technologies recently issued findings on digital technology investment and deployment by enterprises in the wake of COVID-19. The Digital Acceleration for Business Resilience report, done in conjunction with Vanson Bourne, surveyed 420 senior business and IT decision makers across industries and found the majority of companies (89%) are stepping up their digital initiatives, which the report terms “Digital Acceleration.” The respondents state cybersecurity and cloud are the top two technologies to receive increased investment as a direct result of the pandemic.
The report also reveals three key actions business leaders must take to realize the benefits of digital acceleration for their organizations and customers. These steps include the reprioritization of digital investments and shortening of implementation cycles, inspecting and reworking business architecture for operational agility, and auditing the partner ecosystem to ensure their companies have the right external expertise. While these actions are necessary for companies around the globe, the data also shows they must be uniquely designed and deployed for individual industries.
Digital acceleration is pushing business leaders to turn their three-year roadmap for digital transformation into an iterative implementation that can promote long-term changes to stay competitive and support business and customer needs. From budgeting for new, adaptable innovations that foster enterprise agility to building strategic partner ecosystems, it’s clear that decision makers are taking action to stay competitive in the current landscape.
COVID-19 Has Shifted Boards’ Focus to Digital Investment
A notable finding of the survey is a major increase in reported board-level focus on digital transformation pre-pandemic to today, jumping from 42% at the start of 2020 to 55% currently. As the pandemic situation evolves, this number is expected to keep rising. Additionally, those industries that started 2020 at the bottom in terms of board-level digital focus have reported the greatest increases throughout the year, closing the gap and representing a leveling of digital investment focus across industries. The survey also shows 88% of organizations already have a formal digital transformation strategy in place, and 57% have a tactical roadmap to follow, making next-generation implementations under digital acceleration vital for resilience.
Architecture Agility Empowers Business Stability
The pandemic has disrupted business globally, with 62% of organizations reporting a negatively disrupted supply chain and 90% reporting a change in demand (either positive or negative). The takeaway is a need for greater flexibility built into business process and technology architecture to respond to uncertain environments now and in the future.
For large and complex legacy organizations, the inability to quickly adapt and test business models in an iterative fashion poses a critical challenge to transformation. An increased focus on next-gen technologies such as cybersecurity and cloud are necessary for future-proofing today’s enterprises.
COVID Highlights the Importance of a Strategic Partner Ecosystem
Business leaders are well aware that today’s business ecosystem extends beyond their individual organization. The survey reveals 45% of respondents use a partner ecosystem to execute their enterprise digital transformation and 48% report external partners as playing a role in defining their digital transformation strategy.
Additional findings from the survey include:
- Respondents state the top three barriers to digital transformation are data security/governance (40%), legacy technology (35%), and lack of internal skills (35%)
- More than half (58%) of respondents report they have created new in-house teams to execute digital transformation, while only a slightly smaller proportion (55%) are executing within business units
- 70% of organizations with a robust data strategy provide a consistent omnichannel customer experience, vs 27% of organizations with incomplete or nonexistent data strategies
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