Capterra: COVID-19 drives global digital transformation
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.”
How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.