Windward Insights

4 Highlights from our Recent IT Technology Economic Impact Study

Published Nov. 3, 2020
Written by Vikki Fraser

In May of 2020 businesses across the US have come to the realization that after 2 months of increasing pandemic numbers we were not in fact going back to normal any time soon. COVID-19 created a plethora of multi-faceted problems for businesses in every sector across the nation.

Windward Consulting Group commissioned an exclusive study with Helix Market Research to better understand the challenges of IT leaders in Fortune 1000 businesses. We asked, you answered. We wanted to know how you intended to pivot your operations, what your priorities were, and what your plans were for the remainder of the year. We also asked you to look beyond the present and visualize what 2021 looks like.

The 2020 COVID-19 Information Technology Economic Impact Study uncovered massive shifts and opportunities for IT teams. The most exciting finding is that IT has the opportunity to lead their companies through the recovery from the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.

IT leaders will be at the helm of the ship for the foreseeable future as remote working becomes the new normal, digital transformation is no longer optional, and the death knell is rung for outdated processes.

This research reveals that 84% of IT leaders have eliminated new spending during the most rapid acceleration of digital transformation in our history. This stunning drawback changed the way teams across the enterprise moved forward into an uncertain future.

Here are some of the most intriguing findings from the study:

New products or services – A surprising 64% of the respondents said their companies are pivoting to new services or products

Vendors – 50% of respondents are looking to vendors to assist with driving down costs. Those that cannot may face the chopping block.

Goals – 85% are making changes in their priorities for 2020.

Remote Work – Not unsurprisingly almost 52% of our respondents cited remote working as a top priority in the next 90 days. However, employee morale came in a strong second with almost 37% of respondents saying it was a top priority.

Investments – Data analytics and process optimization tie for the top spot on new investment likely due to decentralized IoT devices and new processes implemented for the remote workforce.

Staffing – Outsourcing is the winner here, as 60% of respondents are expecting minor to no impact. 68% of the respondents stated that reducing staff is a low priority for them, the emphasis is clear that keeping staff is a priority.

Postponing Initiatives – 59.9% of respondents said cuts aren’t likely or not happening at all to their mission-critical initiatives.

Beyond the numbers – Key actions for IT Leaders to take now

  • IT teams must deploy strategies to move from a reactive workflow to proactively creating space for automation and innovation. In essence, their teams must quit playing defense in 2021 and MOVE TO OFFENSE.
  • IT must reassess their security posture to ensure that no holes were created with the rapid shift to a virtual working environment.
  • The demands on IT have increased the importance of soft skills from leaders. IT leaders’ top priorities are remote working, employee morale, and retention of existing staff.
  • Start re-prioritizing initiatives now for 2021 with the expectation that many of the cuts experienced in the first half of 2020 will remain in place for the next 12-18 months.

The report has more insights than one blog post can hold. If you’re interested in getting into the minds of Fortune 1000 IT leaders we encourage you to read the full report.