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Digital Transformation Investment Will Continue in 2021, Survey Reveals

Transformation and investment remain common goals, but the best way to achieve them highlights diversity of thinking in tech strategies, according to a new report from Software AG.

Note: TDWI’s editors carefully choose vendor-issued press releases about new or upgraded products and services. We have edited and/or condensed this release to highlight key features but make no claims as to the accuracy of the vendor's statements.

Software AG released the results from its “Sit Rep” global survey of IT leaders and their digital transformation investment strategies. The global pandemic served as a backdrop for a year of innovation and digitalization in businesses around the globe. Ninety-seven percent of IT directors surveyed said that their company went through digital transformation efforts in 2020, the same number expect that investment to continue in 2021.

The research highlighted some priorities and assumptions that companies have in common, and some areas where opinion is divided on the best way forward.

What companies have in common:

  • 97 percent believe their business is resilient
  • 95 percent believe technology will help them tackle future challenges
  • 90 percent believe that customer expectation will increase in the next year

Where companies differ:

  • Whether to consolidate (50 percent) or diversify (48 percent) tech portfolios
  • Whether to prioritize product and process (48 percent) or customer support and service (52 percent) improvements
  • Who the biggest beneficiary of digital investments has been, or will be, with customers, employees and ‘the business’ all cited as top priority

“The COVID pandemic redefined digital transformation in the enterprise,” stated Dr. Stefan Sigg, CPO, Software AG. “[Although] transformation has been an imperative that IT leaders have been championing for years, it took these historic circumstances for many business leaders to make it a priority. The resulting acceleration was nothing short of miraculous, albeit necessary. Organizations had to take some big dramatic steps -- and in some cases a leap of faith -- to make their businesses work in the most difficult circumstances. The reward is that the benefits will be stretch well beyond the pandemic.”

Of the technologies essential in 2021, global IT leaders listed the following as areas of focus: cloud computing (67 percent), 5G (51 percent), AI (43 percent), and integration (43 percent).

Among the global trends:

  • A majority of American and German IT professionals say they need more diversification in their IT infrastructure, although the majority of British and French say they have a good amount of technologies and suppliers
  • American and British IT professionals are more likely than French and German ones to say their IT infrastructure is “definitely” resilient; the latter are more likely to say it is “probably” resilient
  • American and British IT professions are more likely than French and Germans to say a “better digital experience” is most important to customers; French and Germans are more likely to report that customers want a “faster service” than Americans and British
  • British IT professionals are most likely to say their board of directors are the most influential decision makers when it comes to transformation

This report was conducted by Regina Corso Consulting from Nov. 9 to 17, 2020 and surveyed more than 600 IT leaders in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and France on their attitudes about digital transformation efforts.

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