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Dell Technologies: Digital transformation accelerating due to COVID

Organisations are accelerating transformational technology programmes during the global COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research from Dell Technologies.

The research revealed organisations are shifting their digital transformation programmes into high gear and are on the path to accomplish in a few months what would normally have taken them years, 

Dell’s 2020 Index found that globally eight in 10 organisations, and 79% in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), have fast-tracked some digital transformation programs this year, and 79% globally and 77% in ANZ are re-inventing their business model.

According to the research, ANZ is seeing more organisations embracing digital transformation with a 14-percentage point increase from 2018 in the number of Digital Adopters and Digital Leaders (the two most digitally mature groups). 

Globally, a similar trend is observed where organisations in the top two groups saw an increase of 17% from 28% in 2018 to 45% this year.

The 2020 DT Index also records that this year, there are fewer Digital Laggards (the least digitally matured group) globally with a drop of 6-percentage points since 2018, to only 3%, while Digital Laggards in ANZ form only 2% of those surveyed, a drop of 8-percentage points. 

The number of Digital Followers saw a steep fall by 17-percentage points to 13% globally and 14-percentage points in ANZ to 16%. These organisations are moving up, into the Digital Adopter and Digital Evaluator groups, which have expanded in tandem.

“We’ve been given a glimpse of the future, and the organisations that are accelerating their digital transformation now will be poised for success in the Data Era that is unfolding before our eyes”, says Michael Dell, chairman and CEO, Dell Technologies.   

Barriers to transformation

Dell says that while the pandemic may have catalysed digital transformation across the globe, continuous transformation is challenging: 94% of organisations globally and 96% in ANZ are facing entrenched barriers to transformation. 

According to the 2020 DT Index, the following are the top 3 barriers to digital transformation success.

  • Lack of budget and resources: 41%
  • Data privacy and security concerns: 36%
  • Lack of economic growth: 28%

Responding in an uncertain world 

 Prior to the pandemic, business investments were strongly focused on foundational technologies, rather than emerging technologies. The vast majority, 89% globally and 87% in ANZ, recognise that as a result of the disruption this year, they need a more agile/scalable IT infrastructure to allow for contingencies. 

The DT Index shows the top technology investments for the next one to three years:

1. Cybersecurity (Global)
Data Management tools (ANZ)

2. Data management tools (Global)
Cybersecurity (ANZ)

3. 5G infrastructure (Global)
Privacy software

4. Privacy software (Global)
5G ready hardware & infrastructure (ANZ)

5. Multi-Cloud environment (Global)
Multi-Cloud environment (ANZ)

And recognising the importance of emerging technologies, 82% globally and 75% in ANZ envision increased usage of Augmented Reality to learn how to do or fix things in an instant; 85% globally and 77% in ANZ foresee organisations using Artificial Intelligence and data models to predict potential disruptions, and 78% globally and 73% in ANZ predict distributed ledgers - such as Blockchain - will make the gig economy fairer (by cutting out the intermediary). 

Despite these findings, only 16% globally and 14% in ANZ are planning to invest in Virtual/Augmented Reality, just 32% globally and 27% in ANZ intend to invest in Artificial Intelligence, and a mere 15% globally and 12% in ANZ plan to invest in distributed ledgers in the next one to three years.