More than half of UK businesses (56 per cent) are planning to increase spending on digital skills training budgets for staff next year, in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
That’s according to research IT services provider Transputec, which also revealed that 53 per cent of businesses are planning to increase their IT infrastructure budget next year.
The findings, which surveyed 200 senior business decision-makers in large and medium sized companies, and conducted by independent polling company Censuswide in September 2020, also found that 60 per cent of business decision-makers are planning to increase the use of digital collaboration tools to help improve staff well-being and create more cohesive teams following disruption caused by the pandemic.
Transputec also concluded that attitudes to recruitment have altered significantly, with one-third (33 per cent) of business decision makers agreeing that they already have plans to recruit a Chief Digital Officer (or an equivalent IT specialist) to help prepare for a post-Covid economy. Furthermore, 41 per cent revealed that they are seeking to employ new candidates with a high level of digital skills due to the pandemic, and 31 per cent have even admitted to giving their IT team a bonus due to recent efforts in getting the company through Covid-19.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, thousands of companies have overhauled operations in order to adhere to government guidelines, social distancing measures and to maintain employee safety; even now, a return to office on a permanent basis is not an option for a majority of business for the foreseeable future. In fact, 44 per cent of business decision makers revealed that they are planning to downsize office space and accelerate remote working in order to cut costs.
Due to the steadily improving situation, and because most businesses have already successfully adapted to remote working, half of those surveyed (49 per cent) admitted that they expect to see growth next year.
Sonny Sehgal, CEO at Transputec, said: “Covid-19 has already had a devastating impact on UK business, and we’re not out of the woods yet. Fortunately, cutting edge technology has facilitated a mass shift to remote and digital working, and as a result, many businesses have observed benefits of lower overheads and more streamlined and efficient operations through managed services.
“Therefore, we can expect flexible working to stay with us for the long-term, even after it is deemed safe to return to the office on a permanent basis. Therefore, businesses must continue to bolster digital initiatives and prioritise the use of cloud-enabled digital collaboration tools, for example, if they wish to remain buoyant.”