COVID-19 has disrupted every nation’s economy as countries order people to stay at home, businesses close, hospitals are overwhelmed with emergency patients, and government scramble to offer financial assistance to their citizens. However, the impact of COVID19 has failed to dampen digital transformation plans, with 52% of companies stating they will increase their spending on digital transformation, while only 18% are planning to spend less. These figures are according to a global research study from IFS, a Swedish integrated business software solutions provider.

While respondents were concerned with the overall economy, data indicates that, during these dynamic times, plans to increase spending on digital transformation tracks closely with concerns about economic conditions disrupting the business. In fact, the survey indicates that people concerned with economic disruption were 20% more likely to plan increased spending on digital transformation.

Appetite for digital transformation initiatives is, however, not consistent across all geographies or industry verticals. Looking closer, the survey places construction in the lead, with 75% of respondents in this sector saying they have plans to invest this year. Runners up in this regard are information technology (58%) and manufacturing (55%). On the other end of the spectrum, the study finds more cautious in industries in energy and utilities at 37%, trailed by retail at 35%.

Construction, which has historically been behind when it comes to enabling technology, is investing heavily to catch up with more digitally mature sectors. Despite a widespread willingness to invest, the study reveals digital transformation execution as a challenging area for many decision-makers. The ability to deliver a measurable return on technology investment quickly, and to the satisfaction of internal stakeholders, is the number one concern for nearly two thirds of decision-makers (64%).

Many companies are using the global downturn to divert resources to technological renewal and innovation. As businesses are adapting to the anticipated economic recovery, and not permanently scrapping digital transformation initiatives, there is reason to believe that companies with a progressive mindset toward technology investment will be well equipped to rebound. While enterprise software will doubtlessly play a role in accelerating recovery, it is important to remember its role in helping companies now, before the recovery, by providing the necessary process transparency and analytics to ensure effective and informed decision-making, critical in these times.

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