COVID-19 pushed firms’ digital comms strategy by 6 years

Almost all (97%) of enterprise decision makers believe COVID-19 accelerated their company’s digital transformation efforts, according to new research from Twilio.

Conducted last June, the study covered more than  2,500 enterprise decision makers globally to gauge the effect on their company’s digital transformation and communication roadmap. There were 225 to 300 survey respondents each from Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 

“Over the last few months, we’ve seen years-long digital transformation roadmaps compressed into days and weeks in order to adapt to the new normal as a result of COVID-19,” said Glenn Weinstein, chief customer officer at Twilio. “Our customers in nearly every industry have had to identify new ways to communicate with their customers and stakeholders – from patients, to students, to shoppers, and even employees – essentially overnight.”

Weinstein said cloud scale, speed, and agility are enabling organisations to innovate faster than ever, adding that the solutions being built today will be the standard for digital engagement in the future.

Findings show that COVID-19 accelerated companies’ digital communications strategy by an average of six years, with 97% of enterprise decision makers believe the pandemic sped up their company’s digital transformation.

Almost all companies (95%) are seeking new ways of engaging customers as a result of COVID-19, and 92% say transforming digital communications is extremely or very critical to address current business challenges.

Also, previous inhibitors to innovation have been broken down as 79% of respondents say that COVID-19 increased the budget for digital transformation. Companies report easing of barriers such as lack of clear strategy (37%), getting executive approval (37%), reluctance to replace legacy software (35%), and lack of time (34%).

Further, omnichannel communication is taking on new importance, with 92% saying their organisation is very or somewhat likely to expand digital communication channels as the world reopens.

Over half (54%) said COVID-19 propelled focus on omnichannel communications and 53% added new channels amid the pandemic. One in every three companies started using live chat and IVR channels for the first time as a result of COVID-19.