Whilst the news of a vaccine has been a welcome boost to many businesses, leadership across the country are aware we may be a long way away from lockdown restrictions being lifted entirely and remote workers heading back to their desks.
Last year, organisations could have been forgiven for thinking that changes to their IT operations in light of the COVID-19 outbreak were temporary. Nearly 12 months later, the ongoing crisis has made business leaders realise that, what may have been short-term fixes for remote operation, have now turned into long-term solutions – for example, the use of collaboration and communication tools.
New research conducted by GetApp, the online resource for businesses exploring software as a service (SaaS) products, has collated responses from over 500 SME business leaders about their experiences during COVID-19 so far, and whilst most organisations have seen the benefits of digital transformation, there is still work to be done this year in optimising their operations strategy – a year after it was turned upside down.
Web conferencing technology becomes must-have
- Over 40% of businesses have purchased online meeting software since COVID-19 began
- Website software has also had a boom in sales (28%) as brands seek to improve their online experience for a newly virtual customer base with CRM (28%), project management (28%) and VPN (26%) technology also on the rise
Quick pandemic investments pay off
- Investments have paid off with 91% of businesses satisfied with their 2020 technology purchases and nearly three-quarters (74%) stating that they have helped them address the challenges of coronavirus
- 25% state the new technology has had a very positive impact with a further 49% saying it has been somewhat positive and 91% overall satisfied with the software purchased
More work to be done in 2021 for optimisation
- 31% of businesses intend to replace legacy software systems in 2021 that are failing to meet business needs
- Sales and promotion are key tech priorities for 2021 with 71%, as well as service delivery (57%) and logistics and supply chain (45%)
Emerging technologies key to 2021 recovery
- Business leaders are also looking to the future as they monitor digital developments which are set to drive the post-pandemic recovery