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Since COVID-19 has upended business as usual, many companies need to accelerate their use of emerging technologies faster than ever before. Yet they are simultaneously dealing with an unprecedented level of uncertainty across the business landscape. Looming over everything is fear of new spikes in case numbers and an imminent global recession.

Despite the burning platform for new technology, many enterprises are struggling to find dollars to invest in digital transformation.

  • Average investments in emerging technologies have been slashed by millions of dollars across industries and company sizes.
  • Approximately 4 in 10 executives say they will halt investment in emerging technology as a result of COVID-19.
  • Only 13 percent expect to significantly increase investments. 

Traditional digital transformation has always been correlated with more investment. Now industries that were most susceptible to COVID-19 risks must do the opposite: capitalize on emerging technology without increasing budgets, and at a pace and scale that is much faster than their usual timeline.

Given this shift in perspective, it makes sense that organizations that have been able to scale up emerging technology initiatives despite the challenges are now focused on longer-term objectives, such as company valuation, brand recognition, and topline growth, as opposed to traditional productivity and efficiency measures.

And the good news is that all recessions eventually end. For most emerging technologies, investment plans have not gone away for good, but have been pushed to the future.

Our research indicates that over the next 12 months, some emerging technology spend is expected to grow, with a focus on AI, 5G, automation, and cloud technologies.

How do you anticipate COVID-19 to impact spending in the next 12 months?, chart