Digital Transformation Business Survey: COVID-19 Technology Report

Digital transformation in the workplace spikes in wake of pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges worldwide across social, economical, environmental, and political factors. No one could have predicted the devastating scale of impact it would have on every single part of society.

The business world is no different and has not escaped widespread strain and challenge as a result of the pandemic.

The UK is now officially in a recession for the first time in 11 years with the economy shrinking by 20.4% between April and June compared with the first three months of the year. The Press Association calculates at least 171,248 jobs have already been lost or are at risk, since the start of the pandemic.

In the USA, over 22 million jobs were lost throughout March and April as many states went into lockdown to curb the spread. Unemployment levels rose from 3.8% in February to an estimated 16% in May 2020.

In Australia, the unemployment rate has risen to 7.5% with over 1m Australians out of work.

Many businesses have been caught out and exposed due to the enforcement of remote working during the lockdown. Switching immediately from office-based to remote working teams will have presented challenges for those companies who were not prepared nor who had the right digital technology and infrastructure in place to maintain functions effectively.

In this white paper, we will discuss how to increase productivity and future-proof business by using digital technology, including:

  • Who is driving digital transformation
  • What are the main technology challenges
  • What is the impact on business productivity

A global view of businesses in lockdown

Webexpenses global survey polled 1,125 users worldwide to uncover the impact of COVID-19 on business productivity by finding out what the key technology challenges are whilst teams are working remotely as a result of the lockdown.

The survey also sought to understand employee attitudes to workplace technology and how they expect their business to respond to digital transformation.

Who is driving digital transformation?

The results of the study showed that there is an employee resurgence for change with 93% of respondents stating that they believe COVID-19 is a catalyst for digital transformation.

93% of respondents believe COVID-19 is a catalyst for digital transformation.

There are some key statistics which help to explain why this drive from employees is so high.

84% (more than eight in 10) of those surveyed found themselves working from home during the lockdown.

This figure is consistent with the latest ONS data revealing 86% of those who worked from home recently did so due to the pandemic.
With an abrupt and enforced move to remote working, it is to be expected that a large number of workers will have experienced challenges in being able to work effectively.

60% (six in 10) stated they have experienced tech-related challenges during this period.

What are the main technology challenges?

The main challenges reported by respondents can be grouped into three key categories.

  • 62% Access issues (such as accessing software, networks, files, and broadband)
  • 19% Supporting colleagues to use technology
  • 18% Inadequate equipment and hardware

It’s because of these challenges that over one-quarter (26%) of respondents felt their company should review its technology.

But employees are also looking to take their own positive action, with over one-third (35%) stating they will be reviewing their own departmental process as a result of the pandemic.

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