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Corporates to spearhead digital innovation in 2021, new research reveals

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A new survey of over 750 decision-makers within UK businesses has revealed their digital transformation plans for the year ahead. It found:

  • The majority (56%) of UK businesses intend to make digital transformation a priority in 2021
    • This rises to 71% among large businesses
  • Two thirds (67%) of companies plan to invest in tech training opportunities for staff 
    • More than half (58%) plan to recruit new tech talent 
  • 66% of large firms admit COVID-19 prompted them to overhaul their approach to innovation

Large businesses are set to spearhead digital innovation in 2021 as they adapt to the new digital landscape, new research from Studio Graphene has revealed. 

The London-based digital agency commissioned an independent survey of more than 750 decision-makers within UK businesses. It found that the majority of companies intend to make digital transformation a priority in 2021, with this number rising to 71% among large businesses. 

The survey found that two thirds (67%) of firms plan to invest in tech training opportunities for staff members in the coming twelve months. Over half (58%) plan to recruit new tech talent to support their digital initiatives, while 60% plan to enlist the help of third parties. 

An overwhelming majority (66%) of large firms admit that COVID-19 prompted them to overhaul the way they adopt and use new technologies, compared with 52% of SMEs. 

When quizzed about their intentions behind new digital initiatives, half (51%) of all businesses say that COVID-19 has encouraged them to measure the success of an IT project through its impact on the employee and/or customer experience, rather than through its return on investment. This figure jumps to 60% across large businesses. 

Ritam Gandhi, founder and director of Studio Graphene, said: “Usually, large businesses tend to be the stragglers in the race for digital innovation. Constrained by legacy IT systems, red tape and layers of bureaucracy, many corporations struggle to push digital transformations through at the same pace as their smaller and nimbler counterparts. 

“But our research suggests that the tides may be turning. COVID-19 has prompted large businesses to finally escape the trap of legacy thinking, and instead behave more like a startup in the battle for survival. 

“It’s positive to see that businesses are now tapping into innovative technical solutions and laying the groundwork to adapt to a set of new and difficult conditions. Investing not only in technology itself, but also in upskilling staff and leveraging external expertise, will help businesses to unleash the immense potential of new and emerging tech – and innovate the way to new opportunities in the long-term.”

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