The impact the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has had on the pace of digital transformation in UK enterprises has been laid bare by colocation giant Equinix’s latest annual Tech trends survey.
According to the findings of its poll, which featured responses from 2,600 IT decision makers from 26 countries, almost half (48%) of the UK participants said the pandemic had prompted their organisations to pick up the pace of their digital transformation plans. That compares with 47% globally.
At the same time, 45% of UK respondents said their organisation’s IT budgets had been bolstered to accommodate the shift in “digital demands” brought about by the pandemic, while 42% from the pool of global respondents said the same.
“Despite the negative impact of the pandemic on many industry sectors and functions, almost half of businesses have increased their IT budgets, rather than reducing them, as a result of the pandemic,” detailed Equinix, in the accompanying report for this year’s Tech trends survey.
In line with this, 67% of UK respondents said they have revised their IT strategy in the wake of the pandemic, with 55% indicating their change in plans included investing more in technology to boost the business agility of their organisations.
As repeatedly reported by Computer Weekly, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in Spring 2020 prompted a rapid response from businesses across the globe to ensure they could accommodate remote working and pivot to support changes to consumer spending habits.
Aside from investing in technologies that have the potential to make it easier for organisations to rapidly adapt their business strategies in response to world events, half of the UK respondents said their organisations are planning to expand into new cities and countries in due course as well.
Claire Macland, senior vice-president of global marketing at Equinix, said there are also signs within the survey that business leaders are also investing in ensuring their organisations are setup to support hybrid working models for the post-pandemic era.
“Many companies are now investing more in their digital infrastructure to enable them to embrace a hybrid working model and thrive in the new world of work we all find ourselves in. Despite headwinds in many sectors, many organisations are continuing to expand physically and virtually into new markets and regions around the world,” she said.
Russell Poole, UK managing director of Equinix, said the survey’s findings are in line with his own observations of how the digital transformation priorities of companies have shifted over the past 18 months.
“For several years now, businesses in the UK have been rearchitecting their legacy IT infrastructures and adopting new and agile technologies, in order to give them increased flexibility and scalability,” he said.
“The findings of this survey demonstrate the way in which the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated their digital transformation journeys, with enterprises having to double-down on their efforts to cater to a dispersed workforce. It’s clear the pandemic has changed the way we work, across industries, both in the UK and further afield, challenging traditional notions of workplace collaboration.”