News: 88 per cent of Irish company boards place greater value on digitalization post-pandemic

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GLOBAL engineering, technology and consulting service provider, Expleo recently launched its Business Transformation Index 2022, announcing the results of new research that points to an increased urgency in digital transformation programs. According to the index, 88 per cent of business and IT leaders in Ireland reported that their company boards are now more likely to approve new digital strategies as a result of the pandemic.

Global Covid-19 lockdown measures forced businesses to rapidly transform as they got to grips with new, virtual ways of working and engaging with customers. Expleo’s research shows that this has resulted in a permanent shift in mindsets, with digital services scaling up the value chain.

The global research, which included a survey of 110 business and IT leaders in Ireland, found that the pandemic spurred rapid digitalization in most organizations operating here. Eight in 10 businesses in Ireland accelerated their digital transformation plans as a direct result of Covid-19 – by an average of 14 months.

Compared to all other countries surveyed, Irish organizations are the least likely to face problems implementing a ‘digital first’ culture across their business, with 53 per cent of respondents saying it is an issue. Business and IT leaders believe that this mentality is reflected by the government, as 80 per cent of businesses believe it supports – and understands – the digital transformation needs of businesses.

Business and IT leaders cite improved customer experience as the leading driver for transformation projects: 51 per cent of those surveyed in Ireland say they will seek to improve customer experience through digital transformation. Meanwhile, 48 per cent say that it will help them to innovate and bring new offerings to market, while 45 per cent will seek to transform their business model and ways of working.

To support these goals, 54 per cent of business and IT decision-makers in Ireland believe that a bold approach to digital technologies will leave them better-placed to succeed. By comparison, just 28 per cent believe that a cautious approach that waits for technology to mature is more likely to lead to success. This proactive mindset is matched by a bullish attitude to investment: 66 per cent of respondents expect to increase tech budgets by at least 10 per cent in the next five years, with more than one in three (36 per cent) anticipating an increase in budget of over 30 per cent.

Phil Codd (pictured), managing director, Expleo Ireland, said, “Long before Covid-19 was first discovered, digital transformation was already on the agenda for many companies. But from our experience, even the most dynamic, innovative IT departments were facing pushback from their boards of management because they didn’t value, or understand, the role digital played in business success.

“One pandemic later, all of that has changed. Organizations have learned that digital was not only critical to survival during the pandemic, but in the aftermath, too. The world has embraced a transformed reality and businesses need to be ready to adapt quickly to changes in market conditions and consumer behaviors to succeed.

“Inertia rarely goes unpunished and our research finds that success in transformation is reliant on boldness of vision across all levels of an organization. Only then can businesses equip themselves with the necessary resources to affect better outcomes and a brighter future.”