PETALING JAYA: Companies spent the equivalent of around US$15 billion extra on technology to enable safe and secure home working during Covid-19, as reported in the 2020 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey.
This was one of the biggest surges in technology investment in history – with the world’s IT leaders spending more than their annual budget rise in just three months, as the global crisis hit and lockdowns began to be enforced.
For most organisations, while technology spend has risen dramatically during the pandemic, the survey found that technology budgets will be under more strain over the year ahead. Further analysis of the survey results show that digital leaders were more likely than non-digital leaders to make additional technology investments as a result of Covid-19 – with 50 per cent more organisations that are ‘very’ or ‘extremely effective’ at using digital technologies spending an additional 21 to 50 per cent. These investments focused on large-scale implementations of Distributed Cloud (42 per cent) and SaaS (34 per cent).
“As digital leaders accelerate their investments, they will be better positioned to pivot and scale into new opportunities. But on the opposite side of that, those who had not invested in emerging technology were more likely to pull back their investments. So, this crisis has served to emphasize a growing divide between organizations driving their strategy through technology, and those that aren’t,” observed KPMG in Malaysia managing partner Datuk Johan Idris.
The survey also found that security and privacy are the top investments during Covid-19, with four in 10 IT leaders reported that their company has experienced more cyber-attacks. Over three quarters of these attacks were from phishing (83 per cent), and almost two thirds from malware (62 per cent) suggesting that the massive move to home working has increased exposure from employees.
With the pandemic accelerating digitalisation, IT leaders can look at implementing key cybersecurity measures such as embedding pragmatic remote working security controls to deal with Covid-19 themed threats, conducting stress test to review the organisation’s security protocols, as well as bolster cloud transformation and cyber resilience.
Johan added, “The pandemic has been a wakeup call for many and has hastened the pace of digital transformation here in Malaysia.
“This dramatic shift required organisations to rethink their digital strategy to cope with the risks and upskill their talent without compromising on the security and privacy aspects of their organisation, especially in this new way of working today.”