Published on August 14th, 2020 📆 | 6727 Views ⚑0
Demand For ‘Contactless’ Enterprises Grows, And With It, Targeted Technology Investments
Spending on new technology initiatives took a hit as the Covid-19 crisis blasted its way through our lives and businesses this past spring. However, spending on emerging technologies — automation, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and 5G — is set to surge upward, because they support the contactless digital enterprise that everyone suddenly wants and needs to become.
That’s the word from KPMG and HFS Research, which released a new report pointing to Covid-19 as a “burning platform” (don’t you just love that term?) that is plunging everyone headlong into digital transformation that has accelerated beyond anyone’s wildest imaginings just a few months ago.
Many of the 900 technology executives surveyed twice through the March to June timeframe, while at first cautious about technology investments, have turned bullish on their plans for the 12 months, the study finds. More than 80% of companies are investing or planning to invest in emerging technologies. Four areas— smart analytics, process automation, hybrid cloud, and cybersecurity—are attracting dollars from virtually every enterprise that participated in the survey, or 99% of executives surveyed.
Crisis or no crisis, the well-worn issue of millions going into tech and not enough going into business prep is still rearing its head. “Despite high expectations and activity, most companies are achieving softer-than-expected impacts from their emerging technology investments,” state Cliff Justice of KPMG and Phil Fersht of HFS, co-authors of the report. “Based on their own internal assessments, less than one-third of respondent organizations are driving tangible business value from emerging technologies, with process automation the lone exception.”
The key is lining up technologies that can deliver quick wins, without draining already stretched IT budgets. The Covid-19 crisis “has increased interest in emerging technology projects that can deliver quick cost savings or growth,” Justice and Fersht add. “Enterprises are focusing in on the ‘have to haves’ over the ‘nice to haves,’ prioritizing projects designed to strengthen business resilience and protect the company’s future. The primary focus of current investments is on more mature technologies such as cloud, automation, and analytics that will help organizations respond to current problems, drive quick ROI, and maintain the future trajectory.”
For example, 56% say cloud migration has become an absolute necessity due to the crisis. If anything, the crisis is driving clarity in technology investments. “Only investments with crystal-clear goals, laser-focused adoption and deployment plans, and rich return potential are likely to be approved,” Justice and Fersht point out.
Areas in which technology leaders expect to ramp up spending over the next 12 months include the following:
- 5G 44%
- Process automation 43%
- AI 39%
- Hybrid cloud/multicluud 38%
- Blockchain 34%
- Edge computing 34%
“Ramping up emerging technology investments across the board may be a solution for those who can afford it,” they said. “According to our research, the overall level of investment in emerging technologies correlates with the strength of returns.”
Companies in the highest investment quartile for seven of eight technology areas achieved significantly greater realized value than companies in the lowest investment quartile, the study shows. In two areas—edge computing and AI— companies with the highest level of investment were significantly more likely to say they have already seen value from their investment.