A new survey from Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has found that 90% of organisations are maintaining or increasing their digital transformation budgets amid the pandemic, despite 68% of companies reporting revenue declines amid COVID-19.

The global survey titled, Digital Readiness and COVID-19: Assessing the Impact, identified six digital capabilities as critical factors in companies withstanding the pandemic:

  1. End-to-end digital customer experience (CX)
  2. AI-based analytics to continually improve the CX
  3. Core enterprise systems in the cloud
  4. Highly automated core business processes
  5. Digital sensors tracking products
  6. Key partnerships in digital ecosystems

The analysis compared organisations that had more advanced digital capabilities in place prior to COVID, referred to as leaders, with those that had fewer, if any, in place, known as followers.

The study showed that fewer leaders (64%) have seen their revenue decline, compared to followers (73%). Moreover, leaders had better business visibility and a more confident outlook, with 74% of them expecting revenues to bounce back within two years, compared to 54% of followers.

“Before the pandemic, companies’ digital capabilities were rapidly becoming central to their success and business transformation initiatives. However, our study revealed how several enterprises were not as far along in developing a digital backbone as they hoped,” TCS chief marketing officer, Rajashree R said.

“Companies that had embraced digital transformation more whole-heartedly performed better during the pandemic and expect a faster rebound, whereas others are now focused on making necessary investments and racing to catch up.”

Among shifts in technology spends due to the pandemic, companies reported maximum increases on collaborative technologies (65%), cybersecurity (56%), cloud-native technologies (51%) and advanced analytics (39%).

Business initiatives around an end-to-end CX have seen most traction, already deployed at 25% of companies and under development at 44%. Similarly, the use of analytics and AI to improve CX is deployed at 24% and under development at 39% of companies. Higher levels of automation in core business processes is another priority area, already deployed at 23% of companies and under development at 44% of companies.

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