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Businesses investing in tech to offset impacts of COVID-19: new report

Businesses investing in tech to offset impacts of COVID-19: new report article image

Companies are embracing technologies to offset the impacts of global volatility, such as COVID-19 and supply chain disruptions, a new report finds.

Big data analytics and cloud technology ranked strongly to drive business growth over the next 12-18 months.

The findings are contained in Epicor Software Corporation’s 2020 Global Growth Index released this week.

The report explores the growth trajectory of companies around the world and provides insight into how business leaders are using technology to support and drive growth initiatives.

The index looks at the constantly changing state of growth in the manufacturing, distribution, retail and e-commerce industries along with what trends impact the bottom line.

The report’s findings include:

  • Increasing competitiveness: most companies surveyed are using excellent customer service (42 percent) and big data analytics (47 percent) to increase competitiveness. Data analytics had already been in use for between one and five years for two-thirds of Australian respondents, and 92 percent said big data is driving business growth.
  • Technologies set to have the biggest impact: 5G (37 percent), cloud technology (36 percent) and digital transformation (31 percent) were predicted to have the biggest positive, direct impact on future growth in the respondents’ industries over the next 12 to 18 months.
  • Impacts on business growth in the coming year: the China-US trade dispute/tariffs (30 percent), environmental challenges (32 percent) and COVID-19 (66 percent) are most likely to negatively impact business growth over the coming year for Australian respondents.
  • Positive influences on business growth: planning and strategy (40 percent), technology and IT infrastructure (34 percent) and brand reputation (29 percent) were said to have the biggest impact on their industries over the last 12 months.
  • The nature of growth: when asked about the nature of their growth and its impact on the overall business over the past year, companies’ top responses were rewarding (40 percent), planned (32 percent) and well managed (44 percent).

Andy Coussins, SVP and head of international, Epicor Software Corporation, said: “2020 has been a year characterised by significant disruption in the retail, manufacturing, and distribution industries.

“These disruptions have accelerated the move towards digital transformation for many organisations.

“The trends identified in the Epicor Global Growth Index confirm that businesses will look to technology and IT infrastructure to drive company growth in the next 12 months.”

Mr Coussins says the continued investment in technology will be important for organisations to maintain business resilience, adapt to global volatility, and stay flexible as the market changes.

The report also reveals:

  • Growth is strong: for 54 percent of Australian companies, growth in the past six months was a slight improvement over the previous six months. For 22 percent, recent growth was a significant improvement. Growth had slightly or significantly worsened for just 10 percent of Australian respondents.
  • Key success factors include digital: 26 percent of Australian companies said a strong digital and online presence was a key indicator of a successful growing business in their industry.
  • Overcoming challenges requires technology: 46 percent of Australian respondents said working more efficiently would help them overcome business growth challenges in the next 12 months. 41 percent said it would come down to better planning and 40 percent said better technology was a key factor.

“The overwhelming consensus globally was that technology investments will help organisations grow, regardless of industry or region,” Mr Coussins said.

“For example, companies looking to improve customer service and use big data analytics to increase competitiveness, it will be crucial for these organisations to choose technologies that facilitate those outcomes.

“A modern, purpose-built enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution helps organisations to improve customer service by putting crucial information at the fingertips of those who need it. This will also feed into big data projects, letting organisations gather the data they need to deliver more comprehensive insights that can drive better decision-making.”

The online survey was conducted in March this year, with responses received from more than 2,000 professionals across 23 countries.

To view the report in full, visit: Epicor 2020 Global Growth Index

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