The year 2020 will be remembered for long as an eventful year. While it was the year in which humanity was confronted with a mammoth challenge in terms of the pandemic, it was also a year in which people across countries or continents collaborated in an unprecedented manner. These unprecedented times indeed put the spanner in the wheel, but governments and economies across the board were able to recover, thanks to the power of technology. Right from channelling information about the pandemic to a global audience or enabling millions to work from the confines of their home during the lockdowns, technology stood out as a panacea for many of our ills.
And the best instance of how technology played a pertinent role can be evinced in the corporate space. Companies that were suddenly faced with an existential challenge in March 2020 swiftly shifted to digital mode to conduct business, enable employees to work remotely, manage the supply chain, and so on. Across the board, the impact of digitization was felt, be it education, manufacturing, automotive, retail, media, healthcare, etc. As the WEF's report 'Powering the Great Reset' stated, "The pandemic is a watershed moment for the digital transformation of business. The rules for success have changed and are ever more reliant on harnessing the power of digital models to create new value and experiences."
Indeed, digital transformation is no more a fancy term or a transition reserved for the future. It is now urgent and immediate and very much part of the top management's mandate. This is in line with the findings of the latest report published by Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index 2020 . The Index is a global benchmark study based on 4,300 business leaders' responses and aims to chart digital transformation status across the enterprise sector. The current report is the third instalment of the DT Index and comes at an appropriate time, namely the year 2020, when the epidemic had gripped our world.
The DT Index reveals some interesting insights about how digitization is unfolding in the enterprise space. The earlier reports of the DT Index (2018) had revealed that many businesses' digital transformation programs were out of step with leaps in computing power and the influx of emerging technologies - making the transition all the more challenging. The latest report charts another picture; it reveals how the pace of digitization has accelerated. About 80 percent of the businesses globally, and about 95 percent in India, have fast-tracked at least some digital transformation programs in 2020, Yet, there is a further scope of acceleration as just 41 percent of respondents seem to have accelerated all or most of their digital transformation programs. Not surprisingly, the programs that have been accelerated are in the space of cybersecurity, Work from Home, digital delivery, etc.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the digital transformation can be gauged by the fact that 79 percent of the companies globally and 92 percent in India, reinventing their business model attributed it to the pandemic. And 50 percent of the respondents were worried that the transition was not fast enough.
The transition is not a cakewalk for businesses either; about 94 percent of companies globally and about 93 percent in India admitted to facing entrenched barriers spanning technology, people, and policy. The biggest challenges were data privacy and security, lack of budget and resources, and lack of growth. This is interesting as the lack of growth maps to the overall economic scenario across the globe. As economic growth slows down, businesses are likely to pull back on investments as a measure of cost-savings.
The corporate sector has also realized the importance of digitization as 89 percent of respondents state that recent disruption has shown they need a more agile/ scalable IT environment. Meanwhile, 41 percent say having the right technologies enabled them to accelerate transition successfully.
The report also confirms the phenomenon of work from home or WFH and how it is going mainstream. For instance, according to the report, only 1 in 4 employees worked from home before the pandemic, but today more than 1 out of 2 are working from home. That is a transition from less than 25 percent to over 50 percent in terms of remote working.
As businesses look at the future beyond the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is reasonably evident that digital technologies investments are very much part of the consideration. Companies are now exploring new ways of using data through technologies like AI, ML, etc. Given the company's extended footprint, investments in cybersecurity are very much on the top of the list.
The visionary chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies, Michael Dell, summarizes the shift, "We've been given a glimpse of the future, and the organizations that are accelerating their digital transformation now will be poised for success in the Data Era that is unfolding before our eyes."
To understand and learn, do check the complete report by clicking here.This is a partnered post .