How COVID-19 pushed companies to the edge of technology and forever changed business

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A new survey finds that COVID-19 responses have accelerated digital technology adoption by several years, and that many of these changes may be permanent.
  10/7/2021 11:15:46 AM  By: Emilyn Frugalidad

The COVID-19 crisis has brought in years of change in the way businesses in all sectors and regions operate in just a few months. According to a new McKinsey Global Survey of executives, their organizations have sped up the digitization of customer and supply-chain interactions, as well as internal operations, by three to four years. In addition, the proportion of digital or digitally enabled products in their portfolios has increased by seven years. Almost all respondents say their companies have put in place at least temporary solutions to meet many of the new demands placed on them, and that they have done so much faster than they had anticipated before the crisis. Furthermore, respondents believe that the majority of these changes will be long-lasting, and they are already making the types of investments that will almost certainly ensure that they will. When we asked executives about the impact of the crisis on a variety of metrics, they said that funding for digital initiatives has increased more than anything elseā€”more than costs, the number of people working in technology roles, and the number of customers.

New strategies and practices are required to remain competitive in this new business and economic environment. Most executives recognize technology's strategic importance as a critical component of the business, not just a source of cost efficiencies, according to our findings. Respondents from companies that have successfully responded to the crisis report a variety of technology capabilities that others don't, including filling technology talent gaps during the crisis, using more advanced technologies, and experimenting and innovating quickly.