The world's largest companies are divided over whether the COVID-19 crisis should drive greater investment in emerging technology or not, a recent KPMG poll has uncovered.
After surveying 900 technology executives at Global 2000 companies, KPMG found that 59% believe that COVID-19 has created an impetus to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives.
However, approximately four in 10 said that they would halt investment in emerging technologies like blockchain and 5G altogether as a result of the pandemic.
The immediate focus is now on survival, which has become the number one objective for most emerging technology investments, but fears around project failure, cost and organisational culture are creating barriers to spending.
“This crisis isn’t affecting all industries equally, but for many of the industries facing crisis, managing the transition to a digital business model is imperative,” explained Cliff Justice, KPMG global lead for intelligent automation.
“However, doing so is made more complicated in a time where investments are critical, but cash must be preserved.”
The survey findings show that Global 2000 companies slashed funding for emerging technologies in the immediate wake of COVID-19, but that many are optimistic that they will increase investment over the next 12 months.
For example, 44% of survey respondents said they expect to increase spending on 5G over the next year, compared with 26% who expect their investment to decrease.
Four in 10 expect to increase funding for process automation, while 25% anticipate a decrease, and 34% believe funding for blockchain projects will rise, compared with 30% that expect it to fall.
The findings also reveal that executives have shifted their focus to must-have technologies, with 56% of those surveyed saying that cloud migration has become an “absolute necessity” due to COVID-19.
“Emerging technologies and new ways of working can play a significant role in the transformation to a more digital economy,” Justice continued.
“These technologies are helping companies maintain customer and stakeholder trust, keep remote workforces connected, ensure their business is resilient and prepared for disruptions, and build a strong foundation for future product and service innovation.”
Author: Chris Seekings
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