New research shows just how essential technology became for businesses in the UK as a result of the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic. 54% of UK business leaders who took part in the survey believe so.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic took the entire world by surprise, from average individuals to governments and business leaders. In less than a month, the whole world entered the biggest lockdown experiment. Very soon, governments around the globe issued restrictions that locked people inside their homes and closed the doors to many businesses.
That’s when technology started shining really bright.
Even before the pandemic, technology became an integral part of most businesses of all sizes and from all industries. Digital products can help increase efficiency, productivity, decrease human error, streamline essential processes, and improve customer experience. As a result, even before 2020, business technology was a true competitive advantage in the corporate world.
But, when the COVID-19 has officially been declared a pandemic and businesses from the entire globe had to close their doors, technology shifted from being an advantage to being a necessity. And new data confirms it.
New research focused on analyzing the importance of technology for UK businesses to survive the pandemic confirms that the pandemic accelerated companies to become more digital.
The study’s findings
One of the findings of the study was that just over half of UK businesses had successfully adopted one or more technologies since the outbreak of the pandemic. However, 30% of these businesses have also renounced the unsuccessful technology projects. One of the reasons why some of these digital projects were unsuccessful was also found in the study: 28% of the 750 UK business leaders who took part in the study agreed that their companies didn’t have the skills to adopt new technologies successfully. What’s more, 29% of them also admitted that their businesses are struggling to keep up with digital developments.
The study also discovered that 23% of these business leaders feel disappointed in how their companies handled the IT projects launched as a result of the pandemic. But, it’s not all bad news of how companies struggled with technology adaptation. The study also found that 54% of these business leaders agree that adopting new technologies was the key to overcoming the challenges created by the pandemic.
Now, analyzing the study’s findings, it’s not that surprising that businesses’ technological transformation wasn’t all smooth. The pandemic took by surprise the entire world. And, business leaders make no exception to the rule. Business survival depended on new technologies implemented, but the quick and abrupt adoption of them couldn’t have come without any challenge.
Technology- the only way to keep going
Companies in the UK didn’t just embrace technology in 2020. They are planning to invest more in it in the future as well. More precisely, data shows that two-thirds of UK companies claim that they are planning to increase the amounts they spend on technology in the coming year.
The IT sector was the winner of all industries in the pandemic. The entire world had to turn to technology to maintain all their day-to-day activities happening, despite being locked in our homes. Same as students used it to continue their studies, workers to continue their work, and businesses to continue their activity. Technology became the only tool that would fill the physical gap created by the pandemic.
The rapid adoption of technology as a response to the challenges created by the pandemic didn’t just happen in the UK but the entire world. McKinsey Global Survey of executives found that companies believe they have accelerated their digitalization by three to four years. Plus, the respondents also claimed that they expect these digital changes to be long-lasting, and they are already making investments to ensure that they will stick. What’s more, when asked about the impact of the public health crisis on different measures, executives claimed that their funding for digital solutions had increased more than anything else.
So, it’s only clear that once companies got on the road to digitalization, they will continue to apply digital technology to the essential aspects of their operations despite being forced to do so by the pandemic. In fact, it may even be imperative for them to stay in business because, above all, the COVID-19 pandemic definitely taught business leaders that technology is the only way to have the flexibility to keep going no matter what happens around the world.
Technology businesses grew by half an hour, literally.
As the pandemic accelerated the adoption of various digital technologies, with people forced to work, educate, shop, get entertainment, and communicate online, a new trend was identified: more technology businesses appeared on the UK market.
Last year, as there was an apparent need for more business technology among companies in the UK, many entrepreneurs took advantage of it. As more business leaders needed IT support services and outsourced IT consultancy, such as the experts from Netzen provide, many entrepreneurs identified this need. This resulted in 19,465 new registered technology businesses in the UK from January to December 2020, a rate of business creation that has doubled since 2018, when every one hour a new business was opened.
Besides the growing number of technology businesses, another indicator that suggests the tech industry’s success thanks to the pandemic is the record year for venture capital investment, sawing UK-based technology businesses raising a total of $15 billion.
Is technology the future for doing business?
If there’s one thing that the pandemic taught business leaders, business technology is imperative these days as it allows flexibility even in crises that may put the entire world on hold, such as the COVID-19 pandemic did.
It’s clear that technology proved its importance in doing business during the pandemic. But, will it stick in a post-pandemic world?
Data suggest it will. Or, more precisely, businesses will have to keep investing in it. For example, in a recent survey, more than half of the respondents claimed that, following the pandemic, they shop online, rely on the Internet more for news, health-related info, and digital information. Another survey suggests that at least 16% of employees will continue working from home, even after COVID-19 recedes.
So, in light of these reveals, it seems like technology will remain the way of doing business in a post-COVID world.