9 in 10 firms say Covid accelerated digital transformation


digital transformation
One year since the onset of the pandemic, organisations globally have undergone major transformation as they seek to strengthen resilience, increase agility and deliver greater efficiencies.

In the UK and Ireland, 90.0% of business and IT leaders agree COVID-19 has caused significant changes to their operating processes, while 89.0% say it has accelerated their digital transformation strategy. These are the findings from global technology services provider NTT in its 2021 Global Managed Services Report.

Changes to operating processes, along with digital transformation acceleration have presented organisations with an opportunity to reimagine their technology strategies and how it aligns to the business. 92.4% of technology teams globally agree their overall technology strategy is aligned, either fully (49.8%) or partially (42.6%) to the organisation’s business strategy needs. This highlights how IT teams have become more responsive to organisational demands. Similarly, it has pushed business stakeholders to fast-track services and solutions already held by IT, such as enabling a distributed workforce, to a far wider audience.

However, despite greater strategy alignment, some disconnect in priorities exists between the business and IT. Globally, 69.9% of operations teams believe the need for a technology strategy that drives business efficiency opportunities is crucial, yet only 48.0% of IT teams agree. Further, 69.6% of operations teams globally consider speed and agility a key component of technology strategy, in contrast to only 53.4% of IT teams.

Comments Damian Skendrovic, Executive Vice President at NTT Ltd. comments:

“The unprecedented challenges that COVID-19 has impressed upon businesses has forced the issue of business and IT alignment into the limelight. And there is still work to do to ensure core organisational priorities are understood by all. IT is under an immense amount of pressure to deliver against present requirements, while concurrently planning for future delivery and innovation. With technology and agility front and centre of the business conversation, alignment of priorities is no longer optional, it is critical for the sustainability and resilence of the business.”

Bold, brave and resilient 

As global organisations seek to strengthen resilience, the research highlights significant differences in approach. While some consider cost optimisation as a way of creating greater resilience, others are focused on being bold and brave. They view the pandemic as a chance to take advantage of market opportunities and to scale, with 33.8% globally pivoting technology focus to achieve this.

Interestingly, this figure rises to 41.7% if an organisation currently has at least three-quarters of their IT managed by third parties. While if an organisation has little to none of their IT managed by a third party, the percentage drops significantly to just 25.7% prepared to pivot focus.

The research also highlights how embracing emerging technologies and the ability to automate and deploy innovation at speed as key strategies underpinning the future of business success. And while, in the UK and Ireland, 87.0% of business and IT leaders agree emerging technology is crucial for their technology strategy, only two-fifths (40.0%) believe they have the technology available to meet the organisation’s immediate objectives.

Chris Price
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