All businesses have been impacted by COVID-19 in some form. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, businesses are adjusting their needs to help them prepare for the future. As businesses across industries rely on technology for their everyday operations, technology has been a priority. But the areas of focus in tech spending have shifted, and for many companies these changes will end up being permanent.
There are several ways in which coronavirus is changing business technology operational budgets, and learning about those can tell us a lot about the priorities businesses have going forward. Here are the tech priorities that businesses have focused on for their operations this year.
COVID-19 has had a severe impact on everyone’s lives, and businesses have also suffered during this time. Just as the 2008 financial crisis impacted business, COVID-19 has seen job loss, business closures, and dramatic changes in businesses that have survived.
Those that have been able to remain open have had to adjust the way they work to be able to stay afloat. Remote work has become normal practice for many employees, with more than 42% of US employees estimated to be working from home at the beginning of the pandemic. While many businesses have been reluctant to adopt remote work in the past, they are now experiencing the benefits, without a dip in performance or productivity.
Businesses are seeing several significant changes to their budgets, which affects where they prioritize their spending. A loss of revenue has had a clear impact on business budgets. A recent analysis from Dresner Advisory Services shows that only 27% of businesses have kept their budget spending unchanged, nearly half of businesses suffered budget reductions, and nearly a fifth have had their budgets frozen.
Some projects may have been delayed or cancelled, while new projects involving the need for new systems and technology have resulted in unforeseen costs to businesses. These changes reflect clearly that technology is playing a key role in budget conversations as businesses take steps to change the way they work.
Many businesses have had to make some drastic changes to the way they work. While home or remote work would have felt like a change to explore years down the road, many businesses have had to fast-track their plans. This has required shifting tech priorities to make remote work an efficient and safe priority, including putting unforeseen costs and time into making the switch sooner in order to keep their operations running smoothly.
IT was central to business priorities in 2020. Companies wanted to make sure that they could withstand an uncertain future. Many businesses made big adjustments to ensure that employees can work effectively wherever they are. Businesses reported a change in tech priorities, with heavy investment in remote working technologies.
Many companies invested in digital transformation and system upgrades. Other areas of priority included new equipment to accommodate changes, as well as significant investment in cloud applications and cloud-based technology.
While this kind of tech investment has been unprecedented for many businesses, the investment be long term. Many businesses are experiencing the cost-saving benefits of moving out of offices and into home offices instead. Saving on rent for leased office space and the resulting overhead has translated into an operating budget rollout for new and better technology.
In 2021, many businesses are set to increase their IT budgets by 33%. Studies indicate there will be greater spending on cloud technology, more cybersecurity focus, and additional investment in upgrading remote working technology. These are priorities that will be even more relevant as remote working continues.
One key area of focus that has been brought to light in the pandemic is the importance of reliable communication tools. Effective team collaboration is only possible when the tools are up to the task. Microsoft Teams is a great solution for many businesses that integrates easily with email and other systems.
Microsoft Teams is easy to set up, and at Method Technologies, we offer a guide to understanding how to get the most out of Microsoft Teams. With the help of IT support for Microsoft Teams, businesses can get training for all employees to understand how to use the platform immediately for the greatest benefit.
Get in touch with Method Technologies today to learn more about our IT services for Microsoft Teams and all other aspects of your remote work so you can successfully implement long term strategies for your technology needs in 2021 in this constantly changing business climate.