Over the past year, the health crisis has caused digital transformation to move several places higher on organisations' lists of priorities. It should not be overlooked that thanks to this process many companies have been able to continue operating, while also exploring other ways of working and relating to their customers. A context which has meant that 58% of companies have incorporated or accelerated technology projects as a result of the impact of Covid. This is shown by an international survey we conducted at PageGroup among over 1,200 Managing Directors, HR Directors and CTOs in Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Poland, Austria and Switzerland.
Digital transformation at different paces
What other data does the survey reveal? One of the main conclusions we draw from it is that companies' digital transformation takes place at different paces, which are quite closely linked to the size of the organisation.
Before the pandemic the imbalance was clear. While technology and innovation were a priority for 58% of large organisations and for 44% of those of medium size, only 6% of small enterprises took this view.
There are also minor differences in terms of the strategic actions that companies implemented to address the Covid crisis. Although they all agree on emphasising the implementation of a remote working model as the main initiative, a higher percentage of medium-sized companies invested in technology or technological development (51%), followed by large companies (45%), with smaller enterprises in last place (36%). In the case of small businesses, one of the measures they adopted was to diversify their business (38%), which affected medium-sized organisations to a lesser extent (33%), and was not even considered by big businesses. Among the latter, however, 38% invested in digital training for their employees, unlike the others.
Key areas and profiles for digital transformation
Digital transformation is raised as a generic priority for the vast majority of companies, but where do they plan to make the biggest investment? There are three notable areas common to all types of organisation: software development (41%), digital transformation of the customer relationship (39%), and CRM/ERPs (38%). In the case of large companies, another of their investment priorities will be cybersecurity, as mentioned by 37% of respondents, some way ahead of the 31% of medium-sized organisations and 21% of small firms.
And what about investment in talent? According to the figures from our survey, most companies do not yet have some of the most strategic Technology and Innovation roles in place. Specifically, 38% of participants acknowledge they do not have an IT Director, while 55% have no Data Analysts and 56% do not employ IT Business Analysts.
To cover these talent needs, in accordance with the areas of investment, here are the five key IT and Digital roles that organisations will need:
- IT Director, a key position to lead the company's digital transformation and to guarantee the integration of technology within all its processes.
- Data Analyst, whose main function is to interpret data to assist in strategic business decision-making.
- IT Business Analyst, a profile with expertise in both technology and business, acting as a bridge between the needs of both fields.
- Infrastructure Manager, a role that takes on particular importance in order to guarantee optimal functionality of systems when numerous employees are still working remotely.
- CRM Manager, responsible for defining strategies for the relationship with increasingly omni-channel customers, so as to increase their loyalty.
The inclusion of these roles will also allow organisations more effectively to address the main challenges they have faced over recent months. These include in particular reduced productivity (54%), followed by the difficulty in developing new business opportunities (45%), and problems in managing the customer relationship (29%). It should be emphasised that 24% of medium-sized enterprises also encountered obstacles in implementing a remote working model, a higher percentage than small or large organisations.
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