Digital Transformation Ignited by Pandemic

2020 is a year of disruption but a new study reveals businesses were able to accelerate in many areas. Allison Dew, CMO at Dell Technologies, shares her thoughts.

By Allison Dew, Chief Marketing 0fficer, Dell Technologies

I think we all agree that 2020 is not what we expected from both a personal or professional perspective. But one thing goes without saying–we’ve learned a lot about where we all could have been better prepared to weather a crisis. In this case, a pandemic.

We recently partnered with independent research company Vanson Bourne to measure the progress of businesses’ digital transformation. This Digital Transformation Index (DT Index), conducted biennially since 2016, included 4,300 business leaders from mid-size to enterprise companies across 18 countries. For historical context, in both the 2016 and 2018 surveys, the DT Index revealed the status of transformation around the world was slow and held back by persistent barriers including data privacy and security, budget and resources, and an in-house skills gap. But this year, we saw the impact of Covid-19 in a dramatic way.

What we are seeing now is a significant acceleration. This year, 8 in 10 organizations fast-tracked some part of their digital transformation, propelled by the current environment to move faster and almost 80 percent of organizations say they are now reinventing their business model as a result of the pandemic. The past seven months have shown us the importance of an agile and scalable IT infrastructure with 89 percent of respondents acknowledging that they need this to prepare for contingencies. Changes that would have normally taken years are now taking months. According to the research, organizations accelerated transformational changes like rolling out broader work from home/remote work capabilities, strengthening cybersecurity defenses, delivering new digital experiences to customers and team members, and using data in new ways.

With the expedited digital transformation, we’re seeing a higher hope for long-term resiliency, but not without hurdles. Continuous transformation is challenging, and 94% of organizations are facing deep-rooted barriers to transformation.

With so many organizations operating remotely due to the pandemic, there’s an uptick in data privacy and cybersecurity concerns. Lack of budget and resources continues to hold back transformation especially as organizations prioritize investments in remote technology and de-prioritize other technology areas. Organizations also identified a challenge with the inability to extract insights from data and/or information overload.

Accelerating transformation isn’t easy, especially with the added pressure of a pandemic and transformation, but this year has signaled an opportunity to respond successfully in new ways.

Dell Technologies is at the forefront of driving the digital future. We deliver the infrastructure, tools and processes that help organizations create modern data pipelines that rapidly reduce the time between data creation and innovation across private and public clouds, out to the edge.

To learn more about the Index and how organizations plan for the digital future, I invite you to read the full results.