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With Transformation Comes Great Progress

April 27, 2021
By Alison McNally

From Detroit to Miami, Dallas to Denver, and LA to New York — the COVID-19 pandemic changed how the world does business. Whether someone operated a manufacturing plant in the Midwest or worked the trading floor on the Stock Exchange, their day-to-day work life — how they made decisions and completed tasks — was altered, in some cases forever.

The power of technology — and our reliance on it — has never been more apparent. The pandemic is showing us that more business than expected can be done remotely. Companies are investing in new technology, migrating from older solutions and embracing digital transformation; in some cases, AI and algorithms are helping determine who needs to work in person and when.

With this in mind, TRUE Global Intelligence, FleishmanHillard’s in-house research practice, set out to better understand the impact these changes have had when it comes to business decision-making, especially in terms of Information Technology (IT). Where are businesses investing, who is making the decisions and where are they getting information in a largely virtual world free of in-person demos and large-scale tradeshows?

Simply put, COVID-19 is not only changing how people work but how they source and use technology to work better, faster and smarter. More than half of the 452-technology decision-makers surveyed in the U.S. said COVID-19 changed the efficiency of their decision-making processes for the better. Many reported the ability to quickly reassess budgets and highlighted internal and external cost savings. As predicted, most also agreed that remote working has significantly changed the decision-making process when it comes to purchases.

But the impact doesn’t stop at operations. Data and communications are infinitely more important today and will continue to drive how people work and make business decisions. Most of those surveyed (72%) said their company needs to be more data driven in its decision-making. When it comes to communications, decision makers agreed that industry experts, IT forums/blogs and tech publications are more influential than social posts. 

Finally, respondents commented on the importance of employer diversity and inclusiveness to create a sense of belonging for employees. Addressing diversity, equity and inclusion will be top of mind as businesses continue to face a litany of change and challenges. 

It’s important to remember that while the pandemic may have altered the DNA of business forever, there is a huge opportunity to emerge stronger than before — using the lessons of the past year to better understand, assess and ultimately make the choices that define organizations. There is a lot of potential in the path to recovery.