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New study predicts COVID-19 will have biggest impact on business transformation in a generation

28 September 2020

  • 77% of business leaders expect the pandemic to lead to better business continuity planning
  • 85% of businesses also expect renewed focus on greater risk awareness, with a further 82% expecting Covid-19 to accelerate digital transformation
  • 91% of businesses expect to shift to more remote working because of Covid-19

A new global study shows that over three quarters (77%) of business leaders expect the pandemic to lead to better business continuity planning as a direct result of COVID-19. Another 85% of businesses forecast a renewed focus on greater risk awareness, with 82% expecting COVID-19 to accelerate digital transformation. According to the research, 23% of respondents admit to having suffered from business continuity failures because of COVID-19.

Intertrust, a global leader in providing tech-enabled fund and corporate solutions, surveyed 102 business leaders operating in a new number of diverse sectors across Europe, North America, South America and Asia to identify how COVID-19 had impacted on business resilience.

The study found that the overwhelming majority (91%) see their business shifting to remote working, with a further 87% embracing virtual events (87%).  Intertrust also found that over three-quarters (78%) believe businesses will be more focused on ESG considerations such as reduced business travel, while 76% predict that supply chains will be shortened and simplified.

Critically, over a third (34%) said they had suffered from order cancellations and a further 29% experienced supply chain problems as a direct result of COVID-19.  In addition, one in four (26%) respondents said that their firm struggled to manage financial administration including payroll, HR and tax.

Intertrust’s study found that access to local COVID-19 government support and tax relief schemes was primarily dependent on company size and location. Regionally, firms in North America had the most positive feedback about accessing government support, with 67% saying it was easy to navigate and take full advantage of the local government support and tax relief schemes. However, those in EMEA encountered the most problems, with barely half (52%) saying the process was easy.

Evert Wind, Global Head of Corporate Client Services, said: “There is no doubt at all that COVID-19 has exposed some weaknesses in the way businesses are currently structured and managed. However, lessons have been learned and this has prompted big changes by businesses to improve efficiencies and mitigate risks in the future.”

“With changes across business continuity, risk planning and digital transformation expected, it is clear that businesses will be more focused on operational resilience in the future and, importantly, better positioned to deal with similar global threats such as another pandemic or financial crisis. COVID-19 will arguably have the single biggest impact on business transformation in a generation and it is pleasing to see that businesses are taking the opportunity to fundamentally reset the way they operate.”