Research: Digital transformation initiatives focus on collaboration

For years, businesses have invested in digital transformation initiatives. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of those plans and priorities have shifted.

To find out how, TechRepublic Premium conducted an online survey asking tech leaders about their digital transformation projects, challenges and budgets. The survey polled 110 SMB decision-makers and compared their results to a similar survey conducted last year.

The survey asked some of the following questions:

  • Has your company altered its digital transformation plans as a result of COVID-19?
  • How has COVID-19 affected your digital transformation priorities?
  • How will COVID-19 affect your digital transformation strategies for 2022?
  • Which digital technology has brought your company the greatest benefit?
  • What are, or what have been, the biggest challenges to implementing digital transformation technology?
  • What digital technologies have failed to deliver the benefits that you thought they would?
  • What percentage of your IT budget do you plan to spend on digital transformation technologies in 2022?
  • How much will your company spend on digital transformation technologies in 2022 compared to what you spent in 2021?
  • How can digital technology vendors best assist your company?
  • And more!

Last year, 60% of respondents said that COVID-19 forced them to alter their digital transformation plans. That number increased to 62% in 2021.

The majority of survey respondents (68%) in 2020 focused on implementing remote digital tech that could facilitate collaboration, digital and online training (56%) and IT and business process automation (39%).

In 2021, those percentages dropped to just 32% of respondents prioritizing collaboration technology for remote workers. Prioritization of digital and online training decreased as well, as only 26% ranked that as a top focus this year and just 23% of respondents cited IT business process automation as their main digitalization priority.

The biggest shift from year to year centered around social media. Last year, 23% of respondents reported that social media was a priority, while the percentage decreased to just 8% of respondents doing the same this year.

At 42%, digital capabilities centered around collaboration tools brought the greatest benefit for respondents in 2021. Cloud-based computing for systems such as HR, CRM, ERP and Office Systems was reportedly a benefit for 17% of respondents, and 8% of respondents reported data analytics was the digital tech delivering the most benefit in 2021.

To learn more about digital transformation plans and COVID-19 impact on them, download the TechRepublic Premium report: Research: Digital transformation plans shift due to COVID-19. This report contains all the data, plus analysis, from the survey.

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TechRepublic Premium
October 6, 2021
TechRepublic Premium

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