2020 and 2021 will go down in history as years that irrevocably reshaped organisations worldwide. Almost overnight, everyone from small businesses to multinational companies had to adopt new ways of keeping their employees, customers and suppliers connected – and working productively – remotely.
KPMG’s latest digital transformation study surveyed more than 800 digital transformation strategy leaders in 12 countries and various sectors. The study found that 2 in 3 organisations had accelerated their digital transformation strategy in response to the pandemic, with more than 60% increasing their digital transformation budgets.
As companies look to the future and focus on growth rather than survival, they understand that stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers and more – now expect a seamless experience supported by best-practice digital technology. From streamlining operations to enhancing innovation, driving organisational agility and strengthening cybersecurity, business leaders are investing to accelerate their digital transformation journeys.
KPMG found four key pillars supporting post-COVID digital transformation efforts:
- Embedding customer centricity
Customer expectations have never been higher. People engaging with organisations are comfortable with digital interactions and business models and expect the digital customer experience to continue to improve. Customers expect front, middle and back offices to be supported by a seamless technology ecosystem that provides a consistent user experience regardless of channel.
- Creating a connected workforce
A shift to remote and hybrid working is one of the most obvious pandemic impacts. KPMG found that almost half the organisations surveyed supported employees working from home throughout the pandemic and continue to allow hybrid working models. To enable this, companies are investing in collaborative technologies including videoconferencing and messaging platforms. The Great Resignation is also driving investment in technologies to enhance the workplace environment and the quality of the employee experience as workers seek greater meaning from their jobs.
- Fostering digital agility
More than half of business leaders surveyed plan to sustain their digital transformation investment and momentum by aligning it to long-term organisational transformation. 63% say they want to create intelligent and agile services, technologies and platforms that are secure, scalable and cost-effective. 57% of leaders plan to grow their investment in the cloud.
- Building a trusted organisation
The pandemic has seen organisational values assume a new level of importance, with a strong focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Almost half of business leaders surveyed are now including ESG benefits in their digital transformation business cases. Robust cybersecurity is also a business imperative – stakeholders expect organisations to earn cyber trust by keeping transactions and data secure. Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are some of the technologies strengthening data security and incident response.
The pandemic powered a rapid reinvention of operating models and the customer experience for most organisations. As they recover from the COVID-19 storm, businesses are looking to growth rather than merely survival, led by strategies that put a seamless digital customer experience front and centre.
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