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COVID-19 Accelerating Digital Transformation: McKinsey

Joseph F. Kovar

“Respondents are three times likelier now than before the [COVID-19] crisis to say that at least 80 percent of their customer interactions are digital in nature,” says management consulting firm McKinsey in a recent survey.

Why Those Digital Changes Didn’t Happen Before The Pandemic

McKinsey found that just over half of respondents to the survey said they didn’t implement those digital transformations before the pandemic because they were not top business priorities. However, after the pandemic hit, only 14 percent of businesses responded that implementation was hindered by lack of leadership alignment.

Almost one-third of business-to-business companies cited the fear that clients would resist the changes as a barrier to change, compared to about one-quarter of consumer-facing businesses.

Stickiness Of Digital Transformation After Recovery

McKinsey also asked businesses if they expect the digital changes they are making in response to the pandemic will continue as business eventually recovers from the pandemic.

* Of the 63 percent of businesses that are seeing changing customer needs or expectations, such as increased hygiene awareness, 62 percent of them believe the changes will stick after the pandemic ends vs. 18 percent who feel those changes will not stick.

* Of the 93 percent of businesses who experience an increase in remote working and/or collaboration, 54 percent feel that those changes will stick vs. 23 who feel they won’t.

* Of the 34 percent of businesses which saw an increased migration of assets to the cloud as a result of the pandemic, 54 percent expect those changes will stick vs. 27 percent who feel they won’t.

* Of the 62 percent of businesses who saw increased customer demand for on-line purchasing and/or services, 53 percent expect that demand to stick vs. 27 percent who expect it won’t.

* Of the 37 percent of businesses who reported increased data security spending because of the pandemic, 53 percent expect that spending increase to stick vs. 27 percent who don’t.

“The results also suggest that companies are making these crisis-related changes with the long term in mind,” McKinsey wrote. “For most, the need to work and interact with customers remotely required investments in data security and an accelerated migration to the cloud. Now that the investments have been made, these companies have permanently removed some of the pre-crisis bottlenecks to virtual interactions.”

Learn More: Coronavirus
Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at

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