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Survey: 60% of respondents have altered digital transformation plans due to COVID-19

Global pandemic causes the enterprise to adjust priorities and spending for digital transformation.
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Written by Melanie Wachsman, Editor on
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For years, businesses have invested in digital transformation initiatives such as analytics, social media, and automation. In the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, many enterprises are reallocating budget dollars and resources to different digital transformation projects.

ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic Premium conducted a survey in 2020 to discover just how tech leaders are reimagining business in the digital age, and COVID-19's impact on those future objectives.

SEE: Research: Digital transformation plans shift due to COVID-19 (TechRepublic Premium)

According to 60% of respondents, COVID-19 forced them to alter their digital transformation plans. For example, since COVID-19 began, 65% said they were using technologies to enable communications and collaboration between remote employees, while 56% cited an increased focus on digital tools to facilitate digital training.

In a similar TechRepublic Premium survey from 2018, the majority of respondents (68%) reported eliminating paper through digitization, and 54% implemented online training. These initiatives remain in 2020, albeit, with a slight reduction. In 2020, 58% of respondents reported digitizing paper, and 45% used online training tools.

Finding budget dollars for digital transformation is a perennial challenge. In 2020, 54% cited this as their organization's biggest digital transformation challenge; in 2018, funding ranked as a challenge for 45% of respondents.

We can expect upcoming budget plans to reflect the impact of COVID-19, as 47% of respondents plan to spend more on digital transformation in 2021 than in 2020. Only 13% of survey respondents foresee their company budgets for digital transformation to stay the same, and 2% anticipate spending on digital tech to decrease. In other cases, the uncertainty of COVID-19 leads to uncertainty over tech spends, as 31% of respondents do not know what their companies will spend on digital transformation.

This infographic contains more details from the research. For all the findings, download the full report Research: Digital transformation plans shift due to COVID-19 (available free to TechRepublic Premium subscribers).

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