KPMG: COVID-19 forces record surge in technology investment

By Georgia Wilson
KPMG and Harvey Nash latest report identifies that COVID-19 has forced one of the biggest surges in technology investment in global history...

In an announcement made by KPMG, the company reports the release of its global 2020 report in partnership with Harvey Nash: 2020 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey.

The report identified that organisations spent the equivalent of US$15bn extra a week on technology to ensure safe and secure home working during COVID-19. The two companies dubbed this as one of the biggest surges in technology investment history, with global IT leaders spending more than their annual budget rise in just three months.

The report surveyed more than 4,200 IT leaders, with more than 100 from mainland China and Hong Kong. Those surveyed from the two regions ranked that their top three business aims for IT/technology to address include: improving operational efficiency, improving agility and speed to market, and developing new products and services.

"The majority of CIOs in mainland China and Hong Kong have seen their technology budgets increase in the last year and expect that trend to continue over the next 12 months. They have prioritised analytics and systems of insight, new technology development, IT management and operations, and cloud as key areas for investment. For Hong Kong, security, privacy, and automation also factor into the top areas for investment,” commented Adam Stuckert, Partner, CIO Advisory, KPMG China in Hong Kong.

Key findings from the report

CIOs in mainland China implementing or piloting technology:

  • 32% utilising augmented and virtual reality
  • 34% harnessing Blockchain and distributed ledgers
  • 45% using edge computing and IoT
  • 56% for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning
  • 57% adopting distributed cloud technology
  • 61% harnessing SaaS market platforms usage
  • 67% adopting intelligent automation

"As all mainland China CIOs survey agreed, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased collaboration between the business and technology teams, and also accelerated digital transformation and adoption of emerging tech such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT and intelligent automation in China. A skills shortage is however preventing their organisation from keeping up with the pace of change. Companies must develop a talent management strategy through good remuneration and career progression opportunities,” commented Harry Huang, Partner, CIO Advisory, KPMG China.

Skills shortages in mainland China:

  • 96% of CIOs believe skill shortages prevent organisations keeping up with the pace of change, which is significantly higher than global CIOs (62%) and Hong Kong (52%)
  • 74% of mainland China CIOs expect an increase in an IT and technology headcount
  • The region also highlighted a shortage of artificial intelligence, while Hong Kong is experiencing a shortage of cybersecurity 

“This unexpected and unplanned surge in technology investment has also been accompanied by massive changes in how organisations operate – with more organisational change in the last six months than we have seen in the last ten years. Success will largely be about how organisations deal with their culture and engage with their people. In a world where location has dissolved, where the office now includes the kitchen table, and where over 80% of IT leaders are concerned about the mental health of their teams, organizations will need to reformulate their employee offer to attract and retain the talent they need to support them through the pandemic, and beyond,” commented Bev White, CEO of Harvey Nash Group.

To read the full report, click here!

For more information on business topics in Asia Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief APAC.

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