Findings from the Digital Business Report 2020, an independent annual survey commissioned by the software and services provider, shows the business lessons learned from Covid-19. It also reveals how investment in people-centred technology, and mental wellbeing support has accelerated in response to the dramatic changes to working practices.
Gordon Wilson, CEO at Advanced, comments: “As we begin to recover from the devastating impact of Covid-19, organisations are reflecting on the recent months and examining the lessons learned as a result of the pandemic. On top of this, they are now grappling with surviving the worst recession on record. It’s understandably a really worrying time.
“However, organisations cannot afford to stand still and must be agile during this recovery phase. They will need to pivot their business to ensure they can service their customers remotely and enable staff to work from home – both now and in the long term.”
The old ways of working are gone for good, according to Advanced’s report, with technology earmarked as a key enabler. Nearly half (42%) of senior decision makers say future changes in working practices are triggering new software and technology purchases. What’s more, both the productivity of their workforce and the possibility of a future crisis or pandemic have been key triggers in technology purchasing decisions (both at 32%).
Almost two-thirds (60%) agree the workforce of the future will involve remote working – with the use of Cloud-based systems expected to rise dramatically thanks to their ability to empower employees to work autonomously and enable them to work from any location. Remote working has already increased as a business priority because of Covid-19 for 52% of businesses. Elsewhere in the report, 46% believe the crisis will eventually change working practices for the better, which will be reassuring for many businesses.
Interestingly, the report also shows Covid-19 is forcing businesses to put their workforce at the heart of business recovery and future success. Around half (51%) say employee physical and mental wellbeing has increased as a business priority because of the pandemic.
Advanced’s Chief People Officer, Alex Arundale, comments: “We cannot underestimate the toll that Covid-19 has taken on employees, and the duty of care that is now required, more than ever, to ensure employees feel more secure, connected and happy in their jobs. Businesses need to prioritise employee mental health and wellbeing – in conjunction with a strong communication strategy – to ensure everyone feels motivated and supported within their organisation. Technology can play a part here, as it provides improved, transparent and regular communications while employees are working remotely.”