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Most boards of directors accelerated digital initiatives in wake of pandemic

(Image credit: Image Credit: Chombosan / Shutterstock)

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced most boards of directors (BoDs) to speed up digital transformation initiatives, a new report from Gartner claims.

Although budgets have been falling as businesses look to insulate themselves from the effects of the pandemic, BoDs nonetheless expect spending on technology to increase. Among the 265 respondents in the US, EMEA and APAC polled for the report, most expect IT budgets for 2020 to rise at least seven percent.

These budgets will be funneled towards artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics solutions, it was said, as these tools are seen as “game-changing” in a remote-work-first environment.

For BoDs everywhere, digital technology initiatives will serve as “the top strategic business priority” over the course of the next two years, together with customer engagement and remote workforce management.

Most BoDs see technology as a tool of transformation and, with Covid-19 still very much a factor, some will look to carve out a new Chief Digital Officer role to reflect that fact.

“BoDs play a strong role in helping the executive leadership team focus beyond the short-term risks associated with this extended pandemic,” said Partha Iyengar, Distinguished Research Vice President at Gartner.

“Technology-driven digital transformation can, and should be, a strong enabler in addressing employee, customer, supply chain and broad brand impact to position the enterprise to come out of the crisis stronger.”