The New BAU: COVID-19 Has Supercharged Digital Transformation

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Often regarded as a slow and drawn out process, the COVID-19 outbreak has forced many organisations to rapidly accelerate digital transformation projects.

Released today, new research from Adapt maps out how Australian and New Zealand businesses have responded to the global pandemic and the shift towards remote work.

It surveyed 217 respondents from across the region, 33 per cent CIOs and 31 per cent CTOs.

The sample size represented 197 organisations from 11 different sectors, including 47 businesses listed on the ASX-200.

And the research shows the shift to online has more or less been a successful one, despite the small window many businesses had to adapt to the new ‘normal’.

Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of respondents revealed they had successfully managed to move their workforces online.

There have been some paint points however, said ADAPT senior research strategist Aparna Sundararajan.

“Some of the frictions that came along the way were related to external forces such as network access and information security,” she told a media briefing on Wednesday.

“For some of the employees working in this uncertain environment, it means working with new tools and collaborating virtually for the first time.”

Despite the challenges, Sundararajan said COVID-19 provides insight into how quickly businesses can adapt when required.

“There is a huge lesson on change management that has come out of this entire initiative,” she said.

“It has always been difficult to execute on digital transformation, owing to resistance to change from people.

“During this crisis, the entire initiative has shown technology leaders that the employees were highly adaptive and accepting of all of the changes required of them.”

The digitisation of workforces has also changed how employees collaborate with one another – and for the better according to the research.

A total of 69 per cent of employees believe they now have improved engagement with the CEO, while 68 per cent have more collaboration with the IT team.

There was also improvement with the ‘people’ side of the business, 51 per cent increasing collaboration with HR and 51 per cent also engaging more with the general workforce.

“COVID-19 has strengthened relationships that have long struggled to engage and collaborate effectively,” said ADAPT strategic research director Matt Boon.

On the flip side, there has been a decrease in collaboration with third-party vendors and customer service teams.

“We believe this is due to increased pressure on budgets and a shift to shorter-term, reactive priorities,” said Boon.

 

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