Capterra: COVID-19 drives global digital transformation

By Georgia Wilson
Research conducted by Capterra - a US based subsidiary of Gartner - looks at the impact of COVID-19 for SMEs and how they are digitally transforming...

On a global scale, the economic impact of COVID-19 has been significant, companies worldwide have had to rethink their operating model to develop the quickest and most effective way to continue their operations remotely and safely during the crisis.

In a recent survey conducted by Capterra - a US based subsidiary of Gartner - takes a look at how global SMEs have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and whether these companies will continue on the transformation path as countries emerge from lockdown or whether they will continue as before. 

Key findings from Capterra’s research report

53% of business didn’t have a continuity plan prior to COVID-19

Defined by Gartner as “an approach whereby enterprises plan for recovery of the entire business process. This includes a plan for workspaces, telephones, workstations, servers, applications, network connections and any other resources required in the business process.” The survey conducted by Capterra identified that 53% of companies either didn’t have a continuity plan or were not sure if they had one in place.

Capterra details that not having a business continuity plan can lead to significant losses and business closure. As a result having a plan:

  • Reduces response time
  • Reduces recovery time for critical functions
  • Avoids wrong decisions in early stages
  • Provides successful communication flow with employees and key people 

To help companies achieve an effective continuity plan, companies should utilise business continuity software that has continuous backup, encryption and data storage features.

61% of businesses believe they won’t last more than 6 months

“The lack of preparedness for many businesses has led to them having to make decisions on the spot in the midst of the pandemic and not thinking long term,” commented Capterra.

Over 61% of SMEs surveyed believe that they will not last more than six months under the current measures. 

Digitalisation not a top priority for SMEs

Defined by Gartner as “anything from IT modernisation (for example, moving cloud computing), to digital optimisation, to the invention of new digital business models,” SMEs - despite adapting their offering due to COVID-19 - are not placing digital transformation as a top priority in the short term.

When asked the level of importance for various aspects, employee productivity, brand image and retaining customers were ranked important in the short term, with 64% ranking health and safety actions as a top focus since the outbreak and 58% ranking report work policies as another core focus.

48% of SMEs have invested in software since the outbreak of COVID-19

“Almost half of companies surveyed invested in new software since the beginning of the crisis. Brazil (55%), Spain (55%) and Italy (52%) were the three countries with the most SMEs that had to invest in software as a result of the COVID-19,” reported Capterra, which was no surprise to the company, with 35% of companies having to implement a new software for teamwork and 70% adapting their current offerings. 

“Looking at the type of software implemented, remote desktop software, video conferencing software and live chat software were the three types of software that were the most purchased or considered in response to COVID-19.”

However, “the lack of business continuity plans led the majority of SMEs surveyed to invest in software looking at ensuring employee productivity.” As a result, “decision-makers need help with choosing the right software. The study found that a third of decision-makers in SMEs are at the interest stage level— they know the software they need, but they need to research products that fit their business needs.”

To read more of Capterra’s report, click here!

For more information on business topics in the United States and Canada, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief North America.

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