Boards more likely to approve digitalisation following pandemic
Irish company boards value digitalisation more following pandemic according to the latest Expleo Business Transformation Index. The annual survey found that 88% of business and IT leaders in Ireland say their company boards are more likely to approve new digital strategies as a result of the pandemic.
Global Covid-19 lockdown measures forced businesses to rapidly transform as they got to grips with new, virtual ways of working and engaging with customers. Expleo’s research shows that this has resulted in a permanent shift in mindsets, with digital services scaling up the value chain.
The global research, which included a survey of 110 business and IT leaders in Ireland, found that the pandemic spurred rapid digitalisation in most organisations operating here. Eight in 10 businesses in Ireland accelerated their digital transformation plans as a direct result of Covid-19 by an average of 14 months.
Compared to all other countries surveyed, Irish organisations are the least likely to face problems implementing a ‘digital first’ culture across their business, with 53% of respondents saying it is an issue. Business and IT leaders believe that this mentality is reflected by the government, as 80% of businesses believe it supports – and understands – the digital transformation needs of businesses.
Business and IT leaders cite improved customer experience as the leading driver for transformation projects: 51% of those surveyed in Ireland say they will seek to improve customer experience through digital transformation. Meanwhile, 48% say that it will help them to innovate and bring new offerings to market, while 45% will seek to transform their business model and ways of working.
To support these goals, 54% of business and IT decision-makers in Ireland believe that a bold approach to digital technologies will leave them better-placed to succeed. By comparison, just 28% believe that a cautious approach that waits for technology to mature is more likely to lead to success. This proactive mindset is matched by a bullish attitude to investment: 66% of respondents expect to increase tech budgets by at least 10% in the next five years, with more than one in three (36%) anticipating an increase in budget of over 30%.
Phil Codd, managing director, Expleo Ireland, said: “Long before Covid-19 was first discovered, digital transformation was already on the agenda for many companies. But from our experience, even the most dynamic, innovative IT departments were facing pushback from their boards of management because they didn’t value, or understand, the role digital played in business success.
“One pandemic later, all of that has changed. Organisations have learned that digital was not only critical to survival during the pandemic, but in the aftermath, too. The world has embraced a transformed reality and businesses need to be ready to adapt quickly to changes in market conditions and consumer behaviours to succeed.
“Inertia rarely goes unpunished and our research finds that success in transformation is reliant on boldness of vision across all levels of an organisation. Only then can businesses equip themselves with the necessary resources to affect better outcomes and a brighter future.”
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