There is little doubt that cloud computing has been a literal lifeboat for multitudes of companies during the pandemic, and a new report bears out just how dramatic the results have been.
Some 87% of companies said digital communications were critical or very important to their survival in 2020, while 96% said not digitizing customer engagement would have negatively impacted their business, according to the State of Customer Engagement Report by cloud communications platform provider Twilio.
Change was swift, with most respondent companies reporting they sped up their digital strategies two to four weeks after the initial pandemic lockdown in their countries. Businesses built more ways to engage faster, with 46% saying there was a decrease in the time taken to implement new channels, and that it took 28 fewer days to build new channels to connect with customers.
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The report outlines the major trends in digital engagement that emerged in 2020, and how they are shaping digital adoption across global companies in every industry.
The trends include soaring digital interaction between businesses and customers, and what this means for personalization; the rise of the agile workforce; how highly regulated industries are leading in digital adoption; the next generation of video; and how businesses are choosing to build unique experiences.
Other findings from the report include:
92% of business leaders report that COVID-19 accelerated their move to the cloud, equipping companies with the flexibility to serve customers from anywhere. Some 95% plan to increase or maintain their current communications channel offerings after the pandemic and expect to add an average of four new channels this year.
Digital engagement will remain essential to business survival and success: 90% report that increased customer engagement during the pandemic drove new customer insights.
87% report digital customer engagement will be critically or very important to their success.
Developers are superstars
Faced with a crisis, organizations of every size turned to their developers to create digital solutions fast, according to the report. Leaders at every level recognized how crucial developer teams are to their business success, and this mindset is changing how large and small organizations approach digital adoption.
Companies that adopt a “builder” mindset will survive, those that do not will be outcompeted, according to the Twilio report. Ninety-one percent of enterprise decision makers reported they will choose to build communications solutions to meet customer demands in the future, rather than buy a pre-configured solution, the report said.
Further, 92% of C-level executives reported that software developers were crucial to solving business challenges that arose from the pandemic, the report said. One-third of companies said they are choosing to build with programmable offerings.
“For nearly every organization dealing with the impacts of the pandemic, increased digital engagement was a core part of their solutions,” said Glenn Weinstein, chief customer officer at Twilio, in a statement. “From remote learning to work-from-home contact center agents, to vaccine distribution logistics, digital communications have played a critical role. We expect that to accelerate through the pandemic recovery and become the new normal.”
The company combined insights from its Twilio platform with results of new global research of 2,500 enterprise decision makers across the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, France, Spain, Italy, Japan and Singapore. The research was fielded by a third party.