Covid-19’s emerging legacy revealed: 77% say pandemic’s legacy is for firms to shift to a digital first mindset

A new report from Advanced, one of the UK’s largest software and services providers, reveals signs of a positive Covid-19 legacy emerging – with technology tipped to play a major role in global economic recovery.

More than three quarters (77%) of senior business decision makers believe one of the legacies of Covid-19 will be for their organisation to shift to a digital first mindset. In addition, 98% of respondents agree technology will play a major role in the global economic recovery. It suggests organisations that choose to invest in the right technology to support their business goals, and the needs of their customers, could emerge from the pandemic with more resilience, confidence and understanding of their markets and how best to serve them.

These are just some of the key findings from Advanced’s fifth Annual Trends Survey for 2020-21, with over 1,000 senior business decision makers having their say on the technology trends and their impact on UK organisations now and in the future.

The survey also suggests organisations are now prioritising business survival in parallel with technology adoption over the next year. More than half (54%) of respondents state business survival during, and post Covid-19 will be their spending priority for the next 12 months, which is on a par with prioritising Cloud software and other technology (59%).

Gordon Wilson, CEO at Advanced, comments: “Already, we have seen that the shift to a digital first mindset has been rapidly accelerated. In the healthcare sector, for example, many clinicians and patients are now communicating and interacting virtually. In fact, according to the Royal College of GPs, around 70% of GP appointments have been carried out via video or telephone since the introduction of lockdown in March 2020.

“The legal sector is experiencing somewhat of a digital transformation too, with judges and lawyers working from home and courtrooms becoming virtual. We still have a long way to go, but it’s encouraging to witness the positive and empowering effects that technology can have on organisations, employees and communities during this turbulent time.”

The plans to prioritise technology are a direct result of the impact Covid-19 has had on the business community. More than a third (36%) say the ability to adapt to a changing environment is now most important when adopting new technologies. Many employees are working remotely for the foreseeable future and organisations are recognising that technologies, especially the Cloud, are critical to support remote working now and over a longer-term. In addition, the Cloud enables leaders to respond to and keep up with quick changes in demand, and have more confidence around the continuation of their business.

Reassuringly, there is an appetite for the workforce to use new technology with 65% of respondents saying their colleagues within the organisation are either keen to adopt, or open to discovering, new technology. The splits out to 25% already keen to adapt to new technology and 40% who are open to learning about what new technology can offer them. However, 20% are still worried or concerned about change when adopting new technology.

Gordon adds: “There’s still a job to be done in educating some employees as to the benefits innovation will bring and ensuring there is willingness to embrace this change. People need to understand how the tools they are given will make their jobs easier, and better, or they will  want to revert to their old ways of working. This will be problematic given the evolving working practices that now need to take place as we adapt to the impact of the pandemic.”

Julian David, CEO at techUK, concludes: “Effective use of technology is likely to play a central role in our global economic recovery. Organisations, both large and small, are already implementing tools and technologies to support the changes in our working environment. Given the long-term implications of the pandemic, this support must continue. Not all employees are open to adapting to new digital ways of working, however, so leaders need to take extra steps to address these concerns to ensure nobody feels left behind.”

To read the Annual Trends Survey for 2020-21, visit https://www.oneadvanced.com/trends/.

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