57% of companies plan to invest more in ICT in two years, but the lack of budget will be a stumbling block

The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of technology in organizations around the world to promote their digitization and adapt to the demands of the moment, when teleworking was imposed and companies needed to serve their customers online. Now, a Telefónica Tech study draws conclusions about how this technological commitment was made and what will happen from now on. Among others, it reveals that 57% of the global companies consulted plan to invest more in ICT (information and communication technologies) in the next two years and 35% do the same, although the lack of budget is the main limitation to fulfill this strategy.

The study, which collects the responses of a total of 810 professionals from the IT sector in Spain, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, indicates that the majority of the organizations consulted affirm that the pandemic has accelerated their ICT strategy and they are now in a better position than before (60%), but there is still 28% who confess that they only take care of immediate needs.

It also highlights that 81% of global companies (72% in the Spanish case) acknowledge having made urgent ICT purchases to adapt to the conditions of the pandemic that will not provide long-term strategic value. The study, entitled Sowing digital seeds for the future, states that 48% of the organizations consulted (42% in Spain) advanced ICT strategic plans (including collaborative and cloud technology) to deal with the pandemic. For their part, 31% of the companies quickly changed their business and reviewed their ICT, 17% analyzed the technology they had and used it more effectively, and only 2% of those surveyed acknowledge not having made any changes.

More efficiency

More than half of the companies surveyed also highlight as the main lesson learned in the pandemic that the adaptation of people and processes to their technological strategy generated significant efficiency gains compared to how they did it before. This result is more noticeable in companies in the biotechnology (80%), retail (76%), finance (72%), food and beverage (70%) and public administration (68%) sectors.

Respondents also stress the importance of greater collaboration within the company to make better ICT decisions (47%). This point has been highlighted especially by companies in the health (72%), agriculture (69%) and energy (67%) sectors. Another revealed fact is that 31% of the study participants (26% in the case of Spain) say they have been exposed to possible security vulnerabilities due to bad practices in remote work before the pandemic.

The balance made by the companies also indicates that 20% were not using the tools available to them since 15% had made bad ICT decisions before the pandemic. In addition, 13% of those surveyed acknowledge having realized that they could not combine the old processes with the new technology, but that it was necessary for the change to occur at the same time.

According to the study, the pandemic posed several important challenges that companies must now face. 44% of them (45% in Spain) acknowledge that, despite having improved their technological efficiency, they need to implement people-based processes to, for example, analyze how technology is used, see how to share data and work together and involve employees in decisions about how the company uses technology to innovate for future growth.

Other challenges to overcome

The companies surveyed pose other challenges such as the need for more training so that employees can meet the new operational demands (this is confirmed by 39% of them), allocating time to review and take stock of the state of the business to deciding the next steps (35%) and trying to make better use of data to obtain strategic information (21% of those consulted).

Businesses face some significant constraints in achieving their strategic ICT aspirations. These include: lack of budget and internal skills (with 41% and 32%, respectively), partner limitations (30%) and unproven technology and choice of strategy (both with 24%). ).

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