PLANO, TX – Jan. 5, 2021 – NTT DATA Services today announced the results of a new study – “Could Have. Would Have. Should Have.” – that found 48% of organizations report declining revenue and profitability since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings show 69% of leaders across financial services and insurance, manufacturing, healthcare and the public sector indicated they would be more resilient if they had invested more in digital technologies prior to the crisis. As a result, the crisis accelerated digital transformation plans for 79% of respondents.
The study examines how technology established business Leaders and Laggards during the crisis, revealing early technology adoption created a considerable advantage. In fact, the Leaders, which made up 10% of the survey sample, were significantly more likely to report an increase in revenue (63% vs. 18%), as well as improved customer (61% vs. 21%) and employee satisfaction (59% vs. 14%), since the start of the crisis. As a result, Leaders are also more than twice as likely as Laggards, which include 49% of respondents, to be returning to business as usual as much as possible in the new economic environment.
“While nobody was prepared for COVID-19, these findings underscore the importance of companies investing in digital technologies to foster the resilience and agility to respond to unexpected market forces,” said Jeff Bergeron, SVP, Consulting, NTT DATA Services. “Organizations that leveraged technology to gain a competitive advantage during the crisis are now better positioned to seek new opportunities for growth as the vaccine rolls out and can be ready to pivot to tomorrow rather than focusing on the past.”
With a much wider technology portfolio, 60% of Leaders indicate they are able to adapt products and services to customers’ rapidly changing needs, compared to just 29% of Laggards. In addition, Leaders are more likely to have achieved cost savings during the pandemic and are now allocating those savings to core (52% vs. 23%) and new (44% vs. 19%) products or services.
Leading-edge technology adoption varies by industry
- The financial services and insurance sectors boast 29% of the Leaders - the largest proportion among the industries surveyed. Organizations in this sector demonstrate agility in their approach to digital transformation with 81% saying the crisis has accelerated their digital transformation plans.
- The manufacturing sector accounts for the second-highest number of Leaders (23%) with 72% reporting the crisis has accelerated their digital transformation plans. As one of the sectors most severely impacted by the pandemic, 55% say their revenues have decreased due to the pandemic. As a result, operational efficiencies have become key for manufacturers with 48% saying they’ve achieved cost efficiencies due to technology adoption.
- Healthcare respondents make up the second-highest number of Laggards (23%) with few showing the agility necessary to respond effectively to the unique challenges of this health crisis. However, 63% of healthcare respondents say the crisis has accelerated their digital transformation plans and 56% indicate they are planning to reinvent their organization digitally in response to the crisis.
- Out of the industries surveyed, the public sector had highest number of Laggards (30%). Organizations in the public sector have been more focused on maintaining day-to-day operations rather than transformational projects that would deliver greater value to citizens. However, 64% say a greater investment in digital technologies prior to the crisis would have made them more resilient; 68% note the crisis has accelerated their digital transformation plans; and 31% are actively identifying opportunities for growth through digital transformation.
The success of the Leaders provides valuable insight into how critical technologies can mean the difference between success or failure during a crisis. Their focus on technology adoption enabled these organizations to adapt more quickly to the impact of COVID-19, drive operational efficiencies and return to “normal” more quickly than their competition. In addition, organizations focused on digital transformation are more likely to be reinvesting in their business, creating new business models and preparing for what’s next.
NTT DATA, in partnership with Longitude, a Financial Times company, conducted a survey of 500 senior executives from the U.S. (80%) and Canada (20%). There were at least 100 respondents from each of the following sectors: financial services and insurance, manufacturing, healthcare and the public sector. The remaining respondents came from a range of sectors, including telecommunications, media and technology, as well as consumer products and retail.
Download the “Could Have. Would Have. Should Have.” research to learn more.