27 Jan 2022

Covid-19 pandemic drives digital-first strategies and expectation of tech investments

12:22 pm on 27 January 2022

Nearly nine-out-of-10 organisations say the pandemic has thrust a digital-first strategy to the top of priorities, with significant investment in technology expected over the next couple of years.

Bearded businessman working with team new project. Generic design notebook on wood table

File image. Photo: 123rf

That is one of the key findings of technology market research company IDC's 2022 Top 10 IT Industry trends for Australia and New Zealand (ANZ).

"Organisations that can harness the turbulence, will gain the advantage," NZ country manager Louise Francis said.

"They will leap ahead of the competition to capture those rare opportunities associated with systemic industry change."

Francis said digital-first would apply to every business activity or investment decision this year and beyond.

Meeting customer expectations would drive investment priorities, which would be felt from the board room to the shop floor, she said.

"By 2025, public enterprises' valuations in ANZ will be based as much on confidence in data controls for proper/effective use of data as in financial controls, focusing increased spend on data-centric solutions."

Sixty-five percent of public listed companies were expected to have digital sustainability teams in place by 2025, which would be tasked with assessing, certifying, and coordinating use of business and IT sustainability data and analytic platforms offered by ICT providers, Francis said.

However, the shift to digital first would not necessarily be a smooth transition, as an ongoing skills shortage and tight labour market would make it difficult for organisations to make the most of their digital tools and processes, such as artificial intelligence.

"At the same time, businesses are faced with crosswinds of changing societal norms, sustainability imperatives, systemic industry change, and new digital-first ready players in the market," Francis said.

Another trend will be a shift away from investment in virtual tools, such as Zoom and Teams, in favour of technology aimed at in-person experiences, as research indicates people prefer physical interaction rather than remote work-from-home type environments.

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