Crisis Accelerates ‘Emergency Response’ IT Strategy, But Mass Adoption Still Needed

Nearly 90% of businesses struggle to predict accurately and more than one-third need new technology to improve talent acquisition

London, December 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Unit4, a leader in enterprise cloud applications for mid-market service organizations, today announced the results of its second annual Technology Adoption Survey of the Future of Business Index.

The index, which surveyed 3,450 respondents in 12 markets around the world to understand the acceleration of people, policy and technology changes over the past 12 months, shows that technology tools improve team collaboration, productivity and well-being. However, it also revealed clear areas of inconsistency, with less than 50 percent of respondents having begun mass adoption of next-generation technologies, suggesting that there is plenty of room for improvement.

main findings

  • Mainly used low instance: While 8 in 10 global respondents report some level of adoption of data management, real-time reporting tools, or migration to the cloud, less than half have seen widespread adoption overall
    • Primary use of data management tools: 45%
    • Primary adoption of cloud migration: 44%
    • Primary use of real-time reporting tools: 40%
    • Primary use of workflow automation: 37%
    • Primary use of AI/Machine Learning: 32%
  • Financial management is affected: Globally, 87% of respondents say they face challenges with the processes that underpin financial management, and more than half (52%) say they plan to invest more in technology
  • An outdated system suppresses predictions: Most respondents expressed concern about forecasting, but organizations in the public sector (37%) and education (39%) were more likely to say that outdated systems are affecting their ability to forecast effectively
  • Role of technology identified as key to talent strategy: 37% say greater use of the latest technology is a key way they seek to acquire and retain talent, while 17% say outdated technology is a challenge in attracting and retaining skilled talent.

Accelerating IT Adoption During a Pandemic

The index shows that over the past year, those investing in technologies such as workflow automation and real-time reporting have seen tangible benefits for their organizations. These include enabling employees to be more collaborative, productive, and achieve a better work/life balance.This is supported by the adoption of in-house software and tools to improve productivity and employee experience, which is seen in Denmark (58%) The UK is the lowest (39%) compared to other markets.There is also increased focus on cybersecurity strategies to protect employee and company data, which is in Singaporebut in U.S. (27%), Germany (26%) and the UK (21%).

Financial Performance Reviewed in a Crisis

The performance of the financial system always comes under greater scrutiny during a crisis, and last year was no exception. Technology was seen as offering a way to improve performance, although respondents said financial management processes lacked the speed and agility needed, and lacked access to real-time data and battled outdated systems. More than half (52%) plan to increase investment in technology, while 48% will prioritize greater automation and skills training to improve financial management. Meeting predictive challenges requires a combined technology, people and process strategy. The best solution to improve the forecast is cited as:

  • Better communication across teams: 53%
  • Better planning for different scenarios: 52%
  • Forecast technology investment: 51%
  • Improved access to real-time data: 47%
  • Integration of different datasets: 45%

From emergency response to holistic IT strategy

“Over the past 12 months, it’s no surprise that financial and related systems have come under intense scrutiny as organizations seek to navigate the impact of the pandemic,” he said Mike Etling, CEO, Unit4. “It underscores the central role the CFO’s office plays during a crisis, and why it is critical that financial systems have the agility and responsiveness needed to navigate uncertain economic and social conditions. Organizations now need to move beyond the emergency response phase to A more comprehensive IT strategy, which will require greater adoption of technology to improve processes and ultimately benefit all employees and customers.”

Findings from the 2022 Future of Business Index show that IT strategies during the pandemic are highly focused, leading to accelerated adoption of technology to address immediate challenges. The global economy is now entering unpredictable economic and geopolitical times, so organizations must learn from successful experiences in accelerating change to amplify the benefits of processes and people. Now is the time for them to move from a targeted approach to a more holistic IT strategy and understand how to apply cloud migration, data management and real-time reporting tools, workflow automation and artificial intelligence/machine learning to create value.

other resources

  • A copy of the full report is available upon request
  • The infographic accompanying the report can be downloaded here

investigation method

Unit4 commissions independent technical market research experts Vinsenborn Conduct the quantitative research upon which this report is based. They interviewed a total of 3,450 respondents in May, June 2022from 12 regions: United States (1000), Canada (150), United Kingdom (400), Germany (400), France (200), Netherlands (250), Norway (200), Denmark (100), Sweden (200), Belgium (150), Australia (200) and Singapore (200). Respondents came from all private and public sectors (including IT and technology; business and professional services; education; charities and not-for-profits), and organizations with 200-20,000 employees. Respondents from all sectors and seniority levels can participate. Historical data for 2021 using the same methodology is also referenced throughout. The results of this research program can be found here.

About Unit4

Unit4’s next-generation enterprise solutions power many of the world’s most people-centric mid-market organizations. Our state-of-the-art cloud platform, ERPx, combines the functions of finance, procurement, project management, human resources and FP&A on a unified cloud platform that shares real-time information and is designed with a robust, people-centered approach so employees can benefit from better Benefit from insights and become more productive and engaged. It supports rapid and continuous change while delivering personalized service to customers at scale, providing the right tools to unify processes across the organization and connect their people. Unit4 serves over 6,000 clients worldwide including Bravida, Havas, Migros Aare, Americares, Save the Children International, Action Against Hunger, Greater Vancouver, Forest Research, Southampton City Council, Selkirk CollegeFTI Consultants and Surrey County Council.

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Media Contact:

Lisa Stasoli
Unit4 Global Communications Manager
Mobile: +44(0)7870 916827
[email protected]

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