Digital transformation spend increase during Covid-19 pandemic, says IFS study

The macro-economic disruption caused by Covid-19 has failed to dampen digital transformation spend, with 52% of companies stating they will increase their spending on digital transformation, according to a global research study from IFS.

Despite the virus’ devastating impact economy, businesses are investing more in technology.

The survey data indicated that, during these dynamic times, plans to increase spending on digital transformation tracks closely with concerns about economic conditions disrupting the business.

The survey found that the people concerned with economic disruption were 20% more likely to plan increased spending on digital transformation.

Digital transformation spend differs by region and vertical

Digital transformation plans, however, are not consistent across all geographies or industry verticals.

Looking closer at the latter, the survey places construction as the most willing to increase digital transformation spend, with 75% of respondents in this sector saying they have plans to invest this year.

Information technology (58%) and manufacturing (55%) companies closely follow.

On the other end of the spectrum, the study found more cautious in industries in energy and utilities at 37%, trailed by retail at 35%.

“Examining the specific industries, it is clear that the construction industry, which has historically been a laggard when it comes to enabling technology, is investing heavily to catch up with more digitally mature sectors such as manufacturing, said Antony Bourne, senior vice president, IFS Industries.

“This disparity in investment levels aligns very well with what we see across our own customer base.”

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Digital transformation in practice

Despite a widespread willingness to invest, the study revealed that executing digital transformation plans is an area fraught with challenges for many decision-makers.

The ability to deliver a measurable return on technology investment quickly, and to the satisfaction of internal stakeholders, is the number one concern for nearly two thirds of decision-makers (64%).

Bourne added: “The study confirms that many companies are wisely using the global downturn to divert resources to technological renewal and innovation. As the majority of businesses are adapting to the anticipated economic recovery, and not permanently scrapping digital transformation initiatives, there is reason to believe that companies with a progressive mindset toward technology investment will be well equipped to rebound.

“While enterprise software will doubtlessly play a role in accelerating recovery, it is important to remember its vital role in helping companies here and now. Providing the necessary process transparency and analytics to ensure effective and informed decision-making is critical in these trying times. Nothing less than a considered and resolute attitude toward adopting digital transformation will help companies thrive, now and in the future.”

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is the editor for Information Age. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and cyber security.