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IDC projects surge in digital resilience spending in 2021

06 Nov 2020

Digital resilience has become a significant subject of investment in 2020, according to IDC, whose Digital Resilience Investment Index, released today, shows the impact of widespread adoption of cloud computing.

Despite a decline in IT spending due to financial constraints following the COVID-19 outbreak, investments in cloud, collaboration and security have grown this year — in most cases because of circumstances brought about by the pandemic.

The focus on resilience has surged in recent months as organisations realise the importance of being prepared for future business disruptions, IDC says. As a result, the company projects digital resilience spending to accelerate in 2021 as the global economy improves.

Resilience investments grew fastest in Asia/Pacific, which correlates with the region’s overall response to the pandemic compared to Europe and North America.

However, investments in the United States improved noticeably last month, while investments in Europe declined slightly in October as the region returned to crisis response mode with a surge in coronavirus cases and new socio-economic restrictions.

“Digital resilience refers to an organisation’s ability to rapidly adapt to business disruptions by leveraging digital capabilities to not only restore business operations, but also capitalise on the changed conditions,” says IDC vice president for customer insights and analysis group Stephen Minton.

“As the COVID-19 crisis has shown, the ability to respond quickly and effectively to unexpected changes in the business environment are critical to an organisation’s short-term success. 

“To prepare for future business disruptions, organisations need plans that will enable them to rapidly adapt as opposed to just respond,” says Minton. 

“Investments in digital capabilities not only enable an organisation to adapt to the current crisis but also to capitalise on the changed conditions.”

The Digital Resilience Investment Index comprises two factors — digital core investments and digital innovation investments.

Digital core investments concern the spending on core components of digital resilience: cloud, security, collaborative support for remote workers, and digital transformation projects. 

IDC says this score should increase over time as organisations shift budget away from traditional and legacy IT spending, and toward these core components of digital resilience.

Digital innovation investments are measured using a monthly survey of enterprises on their current and anticipated IT investment focus, including how much new or reallocated spending is targeted at digital resilience and business acceleration versus crisis response measures. 

According to IDC, this score should also increase over time as organisations shift their spending focus back to building a digital enterprise.

“The next several months may put increased pressure on some organisations to respond to second waves of COVID-19 infections and economic lockdowns, which will be reflected in our monthly surveys throughout the winter,” says Minton.

“What we have learned already this year is that the organisations which were among the early adopters of cloud, digital, and collaborative technologies were best-positioned for a crisis no one could have predicted. 

“Digital resilience in the coming 6-12 months will to some extent reflect the speed at which others were able to pivot their tech investments in 2020, even as overall budgets were constrained by economic uncertainty.”