Rate of digital adoption accelerated during pandemic
New research from Dell Technologies has found that the pandemic accelerated the rate of digital adoption among Irish businesses. The survey found that 68% of business leaders in Ireland have shortened the target window for digital transformation as a result of the pandemic, while 98% of business leaders in Ireland believe technology played a key role in navigating the past year.
Conducted by the Executive Institute on behalf of Dell Technologies, the ‘Digital Adoption Survey 2021’ seeks to understand business leaders’ changing attitudes towards technology in Ireland. It also collected views on how digital adoption will help businesses to embrace new opportunities to grow and succeed in a data-driven era.
The survey of 147 business leaders has shown that 84% believe that supporting a hybrid workforce with employees both working remotely and from the office is the greatest business challenge that technology can help address over the next one to three years. Enhancing organisational resilience emerged second (59%) and reducing costs third (50%).
In light of these findings, 53% of business leaders in Ireland will now invest more in technology to maintain a competitive edge given the experience gained during their experience of the fourteen months.
The survey identified several key obstacles in maintaining the current pace of digital transformation. Business leaders highlighted that upfront investment (51%), lack of in-house skills and expertise (32%) and an absence of digital culture (20%) represent the main barriers to adopting new technologies within their organisation.
In looking to the future, 67% of respondents said that 5G technology will be extremely or very important in keeping connected with a remote workforce. Despite this, 51% of business leaders are unaware of the benefits that 5G technology will unlock in the next one to three years. Moreover, 63% of leaders surveyed stated they are aware that edge computing and the Internet of Things can provide new insights into future customer behaviour.
Commenting on the results of the survey, Jason Ward, vice-president and managing director, Dell Technologies in Ireland, said: “Although faced with challenges of an unprecedented scale over the past year, businesses leaders I speak to have valued the role of technology in keeping connected with their customers and their people. The results of our Digital Adoption Survey demonstrate this very fact.
“By taking the learnings of the past year into account, business leaders can ensure that the advancements made through necessity can be built upon to foster a technology-enabled recovery. With close to seven in ten businesses saying that they have shortened the target window for digital transformation, it is clear that leaders are intent on harnessing the power of technology to drive future growth.
“5G will prove to be game-changer in an increasingly data-driven era. Despite business leaders valuing the benefit it can bring in connecting employees, 5G is more than just enhanced connectivity. It is converging with AI, edge computing, cloud and robotics to accelerate the fourth industrial revolution. With 75% of business data to be processed at the Edge by 2025, organisations need to begin assessing how 5G and edge computing can fit into their IT transformation programme and deliver real benefits on the road to recovery.”
Conor Morris, managing director, The Executive Institute said: “90% of our members have already committed to a hybrid workplace model post-pandemic. The further acceleration of digital adoption will be one of the key factors that will determine whether hybrid will survive and thrive.”
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