IT departments made most of the tech decisions in 2020 and customers were the largest beneficiaries, in a year of significant digital transformation.
This is according to Software AG’s 2020 Situation Report*, which noted that 97% of those surveyed went through “some” digital transformation with almost 60% going through a “large” amount.
There were some common goals for transformation, such as supporting resilience, tackling future challenges and addressing rising customer expectations. But there were also many divisive issues, such as whether to consolidate or diversify tech infrastructure, focus investment internally or externally and, of course, the best route to the common goals.
Where/why did they spend it?
The intention of their investments was pretty much split between internal (process improvement) and external (services and support). Their top business goals were cost savings/efficiencies and customer experience.
Most companies said that their customers were their focus, as they kept revenues firmly in their sights. IT leaders said that customers were looking for a better digital experience and faster service for the most part.
To that end, cloud computing, 5G and AI were the top technologies that respondents said were most important to their 2021 strategies.
Who spent it?
Despite the rise of business in making tech decisions, respondents said that decision-making remained firmly in the hands of IT last year: 43% of respondents said their IT teams made their company’s digital transformation technology decisions. The business side came a close second (39%).
The majority of decision makers were Generation X employees, but about a third were Millennials and this is likely to increase in the next few years. This will signal an even greater receptiveness and attitude towards digital technology.
Respondents said the economy and the health crisis are their major concerns for 2021, and most of them said that technology is either critical (43%) or important (52%) to being resilient in the face of these disruptive forces.
Because a full 90% of them think that customer expectations will continue to increase, they are prioritizing investment in technology that benefits their customers’ experience (39%).
Whatever their digital transformation plans are for 2021, building resilience and being ready for the unexpected will likely be at the heart of every strategy.
You can read Software AG's entire 2020 Reality Check white paper here.
*The survey, conducted online in November by Regina Corso Consulting, queried 850 director-level or higher IT professionals from around the world.