The impact on the coronavirus has been devastating for both businesses and people alike. We are now in the midst of the deepest recession since World War Two and the world bank has forecasted a world-wide negative growth of 5.2% for this year. This in turn has disrupted the lives of millions of people, if not hundreds of millions across the world. As a result this has caused people to adapt in ways that haven’t been seen since the war efforts.
The IT sector in particular has seen massive, profound changes in the way that it works; an industry that has for a long time been billed as simply the unseen, behind-the-scenes team; Information Technology departments across companies in all countries were pushed into the limelight and forced into playing a crucial role in ensuring businesses were on their feet as much as possible throughout the pandemic. They helped to embrace new technologies to support rapid switches to working from home; which for many has proved challenging but ultimately effective.
Gartner have projected a possible 7.3% decline in technology spending in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and this is largely due to budgets being squeezed and reduced in order to improve the longevity of the business itself – but this doesn’t necessarily mean that IT spending and infrastructure to help boosts into cloud software use need to suffer – businesses now need to look into how they get the most out of what they do spend whilst putting the business into the best possible position to recover and grow.
As previously mentioned with the Gartner survey on IT spending, they aren’t the only one that has focused on providing insight into the effects of Coronavirus on businesses and the technology industry as a whole so we have taken a look at a few takeaways from recent surveys that have focused on enterprise tech solutions and the industry that they sit within during the pandemic:
Cybersecurity is still a priority among other areas
Sapphire Ventures have written a report The Impact of COVID-19 on Enterprise Innovation which surveyed 110 Chief Information Officers and VPs in order to find out their motivations and areas that they are looking to spend budget. The report found that interestingly, a huge 86% of CIOs are looking to maintain or even increase their current spending levels within IT. Unsurprisingly, one of these main areas of investment are within automation which is helping businesses to reduce many manual processes; which in turn helps to push productivity to focus on other more important areas of people’s roles.
This shift in initiative to different areas of focus means that IT is expected to do the job that many of us advocate of it: create more efficiency and reduce manual processes which allow businesses to focus on more strategic initiatives. Of course, a shift to the cloud also allows collaborative tools for improved productivity between teams that may be working remotely in a “new normal” of office and home-life working. Cybersecurity as always is an incredibly important aspect of IT spending with many opportunists popping up to try and attack businesses due to lack of resources or diverted attention to managing the impact of coronavirus. This is reflected at board level with 64% of IT execs planning to grow digitisation efforts across their businesses.
Cloud software and computing has gone through the roof
In IDG’s cloud computing survey 2020; made up of 550 IT decision makers has found that businesses are looking to spend almost an entire third (32%) of their total budget on cloud infrastructure software and applications in 2021. IT teams in 2020 were looking to spend around $74 million on cloud computing which saw a huge 59% uplift from 2018 in the last figures.This has seen a huge shift of moving hosting and data away from in-house data centres and now the majority of businesses are pushing their data into the cloud – accessible from anywhere and easily scalable. IT teams are now vastly migrating to cloud with 52% of collaboration solutions, 42% storage and backup and 41% line of business services being moved into the cloud.
Increased need for new IT skills and software abilities
A recent study from the brand Apptio has shown that there are significant pressures on IT departments to reduce their overall tech budget thanks to the coronavirus and this has mainly come through cutting the cost of travel and putting many of their projects on hold. Interestingly enough, in addition to this there appears to now be a huge demands for the capabilities of IT to improve across all areas of businesses in all industries. A majority of people asked in the research piece (63%) are aiming to try and deliver more for less; which shows just how important the industry is to their respective businesses; especially when innovating and moving to cloud-based environments.
Business leaders are needing to advance and adapt more than ever before and this just isn’t possible without the right team being provided the right tools. The cloud will not only help your business remain agile but also provide huge flexibility and longevity to scale as your business grows. With a new-normal now becoming apparent, businesses are allowing flexibility to staff – but this means that remote working and collaboration requirements are increased in their demand.