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Lack of technology integration held 43% of workforce back from doing their jobs effectively during lockdown

Nearly half (43%) of business decision makers say a lack of integration between their organisation’s technology systems has held them and their team back from doing their jobs effectively during lockdown, according to new research from Advanced.

The findings are published in the Digital Business Report 2020, an independent and annual survey commissioned by the software and services provider to explore the attitudes of over 500 UK senior business decision makers. This year’s research focuses on the future of digital transformation as organisations try to deal with the impact of Covid-19, look towards recovery and adapt to the new ways of working.

Surprisingly, only 30% of respondents have been using team collaboration software at a time when people have had to work remotely. It suggests that, despite the apparent explosion in the use of tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Slack, many employees continue to rely on traditional forms of communication like email. As well as limiting team collaboration and communication, it also raises a number of concerns including the issue of staff possibly storing sensitive company information on their personal laptops rather than on a shared platform, which will negatively affect productivity levels and undoubtedly increase the security risk to this data.

“With many countries forced into lockdown over recent weeks, many organisations have had no choice but to ask their staff to work from home,” comments Gordon Wilson, CEO at Advanced. “However, our report suggests that teams have been working more independently and operating in siloes, at the expense of improving efficiencies. This lack of collaboration and integration also makes it near impossible for leaders to look at the business as a whole and plan ahead for a world post Covid-19. Quite simply, it tells us there are serious business lessons to be learned from this crisis.”

What is reassuring, however, is that Covid-19 has enabled the Cloud to prove its worth. The technology has come into its own during the unprecedented demands of 2020. After all, Cloud-based business software is built to drive team collaboration, and it gives staff instant access to the tools and information they need anywhere and at any time. It’s therefore encouraging to see that 57% of organisations now have a Cloud strategy in place, according Advanced’s survey, which is an increase from 49% last year.

Gordon adds: “It’s fair to say organisations that have adopted a Cloud-first strategy, with solutions that are integrated with each other, would have been better prepared to deal with the challenges of lockdown. However, before jumping head-first into the Cloud, it’s vital organisations find a solution that meets their expectations. In other words, one that will deliver productivity benefits, enable mobile working and that can be implemented at speed.”

“Take HR for example. The Cloud can transform this function for the better as, during the crisis, many HR professionals have found it tough keeping on top of the workforce management demands as a result of Covid-19. With employees working from home, some self-isolating and many being furloughed, there has been an increased reliance on HR teams to keep track of their people. The use of technology systems and tools to manage employees, and help streamline this process, is therefore critical.

“We hope that, as the world moves into the recovery phase, more organisations will accelerate their digital transformation programmes to help them bounce back from the effects of Covid-19. However, my advice would be to first review what tools and technologies are already in place, before even looking at implementing anything new. This means understanding which software and systems are enabling the change in working practices, and which are being used by staff to their maximum potential.”

Other key findings from the Digital Business Report include: • Only 40% of organisations have a digital HR strategy in place • Only 28% of respondents say all of their software packages integrate with each other • Only 58% say core functions like finance and HR are integrated • Nearly half (45%) say a lack of integration has held their organisation back from successful digital transformation during lockdown.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Sara Donnelly .

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