Studies early in the pandemic showed the tech sector (along with healthcare) holding up better than most industries in this coronavirus-induced economic slowdown. Is that still the case? And how has the tech industry responded to COVID-driven changes? The latest research from TrustRadius answers reveals some interesting insights.
Along with tech industry analyst firm IDC, TrustRadius looked at how tech companies are adapting to the current environment: how they are changing spending plans, business processes, and priorities for the rest of 2020.
The best news from the study is that 85% of tech company employees say their companies have responded somewhat or very well to our situation. Less than one in ten felt their firms had responded poorly.
Here are five more key findings from the research.
Spending Holds Up Despite Lower Revenue
Findings regarding revenue and expenses present a “glass half-full” sort of picture. On the down side, more than 60% of companies have seen a decline in revenue; one-third have experienced a large reduction. However, only 15% are responding with a large reduction in expenses, with 54% cutting costs overall.
That means that despite these revenue trends, nearly half of companies (46%) intend to spend the same as planned or more through the rest of this year. This indicates tech companies see the slowdown as temporary and, at this stage at least, many are still investing for the not-too-distant future.
Tech Firms Are Focused on More Than Costs
Looking at how organizations are addressing business challenges stemming from COVID-19, it’s no surprise that cutting costs (at 44%) was the most popular response.
However—36% said they were focused on growing trust from customers, and 32% plan to offer new products and packages. Pandemic times are encouraging businesses to refocus on customer retention, and revisit plans about where future growth will come from.
Ops Changes Aren’t All About COVID (But Mostly Are)
When asked to describe the changes their companies were adding to their roadmaps, nearly half were a direct response to the pandemic (e.g., transitioning to remote working, learning, and teaching).
More hopefully though, one out of five said they were adding projects focused on developing new products and services or updating their technology infrastructure.
Innovation Remains the Top Goal
Even more optimistically, per TrustRadius:
A large majority (71%) of tech companies that are adjusting their roadmaps plan to offer new and innovative products, services, or packages to their customers. Another 40% said the new projects were meant to address organizational weaknesses or inefficiencies. “
True, many of the new products and services pertain to the immediate needs of supporting remote workforces and online events. But sizable numbers of respondents cited more strategic purposes such as new product development, addressing the needs of specific industries and customers, and expanding partnerships and integrations.
Which is to say, while tech firms are necessarily reacting tactically to address immediate market changes, a significant number are thinking about the “new normal” that will emerge beyond the pandemic, and how to position their offerings for success in that environment.
Remote Workers Are Actually More Productive
Previous research found that 59% of employees said they would prefer to work from home at least part of the time even after the pandemic.
It’s likely many firms will take their workers up on that approach, with more “hybrid” work schedules (some days in the office, some working remotely) even after the pandemic has passed.
According to the TrustRadius study, a whopping 57% of workers say they are more productive working at home. Another quarter say they are equally as productive as in the office. Just 17% (many of whom likely have small children at home) consider themselves less productive.
“Over the course of our research partnership with IDC, we’ve sought to gain a deeper understanding of the market dynamics at play in the B2B tech industry, and how they’ve been impacted by the global pandemic. A couple of things stand out as either surprising or extremely valuable insights,” said Megan Headley, VP of Research here at TrustRadius.
“Some tech companies are finding new business opportunities even in the middle of the pandemic—61% said their organization is adding new projects to their 2020 roadmap. Those projects are focused on supporting companies as they transition to remote working environments and offering new products/packaging to help customers navigate COVID-19 business conditions.
“And employee productivity has not really suffered as a result of COVID-19, contrary to what many tech leaders feared. More than half report being more productive while working remotely. This should call into question the need for increased employee monitoring solutions, which were predicted to take off along with WFH policies.”
There’s much more. Check out the full TrustRadius study for all their findings about how the tech sector is adjusting to COVID-19.