A key finding is the big shift in businesses believing they are now operating in a ‘New Reality’ state.
Over the last 6 weeks, local accountancy firm KPMG has held weekly webinars, exploring the ‘New Reality’ and offering free information and guidance to all businesses regardless of size, employees or turnover. During the webinars, a number of polls were held and offered some interesting results, forming a picture of the local business community post-COVID.
A key finding is the big shift in businesses believing they are now operating in a ‘New Reality’ state, with 57% of respondents stating this in the fourth webinar, compared to just 23% in the first webinar. This illustrates the perceived speed and strength of the island’s recovery from COVID-19.
All respondents (100%) expect changes in customer behaviours and expectations, whether that be pre, during or after COVID, the change appears to be inevitable and it could be argued that COVID has only accelerated what was coming anyway, with increases in digitisation and automation.
When it comes to the digital journey, fewer businesses are concerned about cyber-attacks and data breaches, with more concerned about the digital transformation process (50%) and being left behind (33%).
Simon Nicholas, Partner at KPMG Isle of Man, commented, ‘This is our second series of webinars held during the COVID-19 period and we’ve been overwhelmed by their continued success. Including polls in the webinars has been a great way to get real-time feedback from the attendees and, in some cases, has helped guide the topics covered in the weekly sessions’.
He continued, ‘These webinars have been our way of giving something back to the local business community and we’ve been supported by some great co-hosts, who were keen to assist by participating in the webinars. They care just as much as we do about getting through this pandemic and still having a thriving Manx economy on the other side’.
During the series, guest speakers were invited to co-host the webinar each week, to participate in the various topics covered. Treasury Minister Alf Cannan MHK started the series detailing his thoughts on transitioning into the new economy. Deborah Watt from Neo Capital joined week two to give an overview of the international real estate market, along with Mark Grace from Black Grace Cowley and Ciaran Doherty from Tevir Group, who explored what the new reality will mean for the commercial property market. The third webinar considered ‘Volatility - opportunities or run for cover?’ and Rebecca Cretney from Nedbank Private Wealth joined the debate. The fourth webinar included Andrew Buchanan from Peel Hunt, who provided an update on the UK equity market and Ash Dougal from Fundamentum Property Group who discussed the REIT process. Danny Scott and Sam Tipper from CoinCorner and Chris Gledhill from PDMS joined the ‘new consumer’ panel session in week 5 and the series ended in a guest slot with Chris Corlett from MBS, looking at digitising operations and business automation.
All of the webinars, from both series, are available on demand at kpmg.co.im/webinars.
The term Partner refers to a member of KPMG LLC / KPMG Audit LLC.
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