IFS finds concerns about economic disruption driving digital transformation spending

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Current macro-economic disruption has failed to dampen digital transformation plans, with 52% of companies stating they will increase their spending on digital transformation, according to a global research study from IFS. While many people might assume that respondents concerned with the economy would pull back on technology spending, the reality is that investment is increasing.

The survey data indicates that, during these dynamic times, plans to increase spending on digital transformation tracks closely with concerns about economic conditions disrupting the business. In fact, the survey indicates that people concerned with economic disruption were 20% more likely to plan increased spending on digital transformation.

The survey indicates that people concerned with economic disruption were 20% more likely to plan increased spending on digital transformation

Appetite for digital transformation initiatives is, however, not consistent across all geographies or industry verticals. Looking closer at the latter, the survey places construction in the lead, with 75% of respondents in this sector saying they have plans to invest this year. Runners up in this regard are information technology, 58%, and manufacturing, 55%, companies. On the other end of the spectrum, the study finds more cautious in industries in energy and utilities at 37%, trailed by retail at 35%.

Despite a widespread willingness to invest, the study reveals digital transformation execution as a fraught area for many decision-makers. The ability to deliver a measurable return on technology investment quickly, and to the satisfaction of internal stakeholders, is the number one concern for nearly two thirds of decision-makers, 64%.

“Examining the specific industries, it is clear that the construction industry, which has historically been a laggard when it comes to enabling technology, is investing heavily to catch up with more digitally mature sectors such as manufacturing,” IFS Industries Senior Vice President, Antony Bourne, said. “This disparity in investment levels aligns very well with what we see across our own customer base.”

IFS Industries Senior Vice President, Antony Bourne
IFS Industries Senior Vice President, Antony Bourne.

Antony Bourne added, “The study confirms that many companies are wisely using the global downturn to divert resources to technological renewal and innovation. As the majority of businesses are adapting to the anticipated economic recovery, and not permanently scrapping digital transformation initiatives, there is reason to believe that companies with a progressive mindset toward technology investment will be well equipped to rebound. While enterprise software will doubtlessly play a role in accelerating recovery, it is important to remember its vital role in helping companies here and now. Providing the necessary process transparency and analytics to ensure effective and informed decision-making is critical in these trying times. Nothing less than a considered and resolute attitude toward adopting digital transformation will help companies thrive, now and in the future.”