Sentiment Survey: How Has Covid-19 Impacted the Use of Technology Within Businesses?

17/11/2020
To help identify and understand the current opinions and outlook for businesses from an internal technology perspective, and how they have been impacted by Covid-19 in the short to medium term, psd conducted a survey of sentiment from senior leaders in the technology, change and transformation space in the UK and Europe.

We would like to thank all those who participated in the survey, which has enabled us to create a detailed picture of how technology will shape businesses.  The results provide thought provoking insight into the current priorities and challenges for businesses around technology and innovation going into 2021.

Survey results

Click or swipe through the images below to see the results of the survey, plus some of our respondents’ closing comments.

Key takeaways

  • Over 65% of the business surveyed remain either very or somewhat optimistic about their business outlook. This is a very positive sign that businesses see an end to the effects of the pandemic and are projecting potential growth.
  • Businesses have adopted a variety of strategies to manage employee costs. Surprisingly, over a third of the businesses we surveyed have not used the furlough scheme or redundancies to manage their payroll.
  • 49% of businesses have moved to a new working model, which has been enabled through technology.
  • Hiring and onboarding have shifted from a traditional hiring model to a technology supported capability, which is shown by 60% of respondents who have either implemented new processes or upgraded.
  • Remote working has largely produced similar levels of productivity, but interestingly 25% have seen an increase in productivity.

The main areas of technology investment will be around remote working, cyber security and cloud technology, showing a shift in working practices away from the office.

  • In 2021, 32% of businesses are intending to commit to an increase in technology budget.
  • Respondents felt that the main areas of technology investment will be around remote working, cyber security and cloud technology, showing that companies intend to provide more flexible (remote) working practices for their staff post pandemic.
  • Organisational strategy has not been redefined by the impact of the pandemic, conversely it has solidified organisations operating models.
  • Perhaps as expected, over 90% of the businesses expect far more flexibility around employee remote working and engagement.
  • Interestingly, the majority of the businesses have not seen a large turnover of talent and do not foresee this happening in the immediate future.  There has been a shift since the pandemic began, and workplace safety, new ways of working remotely, policies to support working from home, flexible employee schedules and leadership agility are now priorities for employees.

Conclusion

The survey data suggest that the COVID-19 crisis is a turning point of significant proportions and that more changes will be required as the economic and human plight evolves. The idea that technology adoption or digital disruption is new is a fallacy.  The results also show that some significant lessons can be drawn from the way businesses have adapted, and in some cases, already modified. Technology for most organisations will be at the forefront of any new Target Operating Models and will enable businesses to function in a far more efficient manner.

Technology for most organisations will be at the forefront of any new Target Operating Models and will enable businesses to function in a far more efficient manner.

No matter how long it takes for the economy to recover, things aren’t going to look like they did nine months ago. The competitive landscape will look different, as some businesses enter new markets or pursue different business models.

Encouragingly, the outlook for the businesses we surveyed are still positive, whether this is a change in products and services, growth in technology investment or remote working, companies are adapting and over the next few years, will move back into growth mode – albeit with a very different look and feel.

Find out more

Our Technology team source for and advise on technology leadership, provide market information and help clients meet their recruitment requirements at every management and board-level grade, globally.

Find out more about psd’s Technology & Change recruitment consultancy

About the author

Technology & Change Contracting

Cyr Cornberg

Director – Technology, Change & Transformation

Cyr is Director of psd’s Technology, Change & Transformation Contracting Practice.