Business leaders expect lasting impact from digital investment during pandemic

This emerges in the latest Digital Ireland report from Microsoft

More than three quarters of business leaders believe investment into their company’s digital transformation since the start of the pandemic will have a lasting positive impact on their organisation. Photograph: iStock

More than three quarters of business leaders believe investment into their company’s digital transformation since the start of the pandemic will have a lasting positive impact on their organisation. Photograph: iStock

Your Web Browser may be out of date. If you are using Internet Explorer 9, 10 or 11 our Audio player will not work properly.
For a better experience use Google Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

 

More than three quarters of business leaders believe investment into their company’s digital transformation since the start of the pandemic will have a lasting positive impact on their organisation, but 43 per cent said they do not have the right digital services and technologies in place to deal with the reality of the new working environment.

These are among the key findings in the latest Digital Ireland report from Microsoft.

Almost half say staff are reluctant to embrace digitalisation. A further 41 per cent said their customers are ahead of them when it comes to demand for digitalised services and solutions. Some 59 per cent of technology leaders believe they are under-utilising their organisation’s data.

The Covid-19 pandemic has spurred a shift to digital technologies in a short period of time as businesses scrambled to find ways to keep operations going amid lockdown restrictions. More than 80 per cent said they were compelled to accelerate the adoption of digital services and technologies faster because of the pandemic.

Cloud operations

Two thirds of businesses said they need to move operations to the cloud so they can prepare for the ‘new normal’ when the pandemic is over.

“The economic and transformative impact of digitalisation both on public and private sector organisations since the Covid-19 emergency began has been monumental. As the report clearly demonstrates, the last 18 months have highlighted the seismic potential of the digital economy in Ireland over the coming years,” said Kieran McCorry, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Ireland.

“However, the report also highlights just how much more there is still to do to reach this potential - with many businesses only just now scratching the surface of digital transformation and how they use data and tools, connect with customers, or engage employees.”

The report, Digital Ireland - Inclusive Recovery, surveyed more than 360 business decision-makers and technology leaders nationally, in both the public and private sector.

It highlighted recruitment as a major concern for organisations regarding their future recovery, with 74 per cent believing digitalisation will enable them to attract and retain talent.

“Many organisations were forced to accelerate their adoption of digital technologies and as a result have seen first-hand how easily digitalisation can help them scale by introducing new products or services at pace; migrate business critical operations online; or more effectively interact with their stakeholders,” Mr McCorry said. “ While there is still some hesitancy among senior leaders to fully embrace digitalisation, leaders see that the benefits of adopting digital technologies such as the cloud, far outweigh any perceived challenges. As we look towards recovery, we are seeing enormous interest from Irish organisations of all sizes to embrace and build on their investments to realise the full economic, environmental, and business benefits of digitalisation on a much larger scale - with cloud adoption central to their plans.”

Amárach predicts the digitisation of the Irish economy could potentially be worth in the region of €300 billion in 2023, the equivalent of 65 per cent of economic output.