Pandemic an opportunity to accelerate digital initiatives

19 February 2021 2 min. read
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The Covid-19 pandemic has been an opportunity for enterprises to quicken their digital transformation, but how many have taken the initiative? A recent survey commissioned by Talsom, a Montreal-based management consulting firm, examined the progress of enterprise digital transition in Quebec, Ontario, and BC. The Leger web survey polled 302 managers and executives of companies with more than 250 employees in November and December 2020.

According to the survey, Quebec companies benefitted less from the pandemic as a digital accelerant than their peers in Ontario and BC. However, Quebec firms had a higher self-assessment of their pre-pandemic digital maturity than their counterparts in English Canada.

Fewer Quebec firms thought they were ahead in their digital transformation journey today (43%) than they were before the pandemic started (45%). In contrast, Ontario firms saw a 12-point jump (33% to 45%), while BC firms saw a 14-point increase (30% to 44%).

The vast majority of respondents identified digital transformation as being important (94%), while 79% of business leaders said they need to accelerate their transformation to avoid putting their enterprises at risk.

Pandemic an opportunity to accelerate digital initiatives Seventy-six percent of companies said they have an investment plan, while 68% said they have a digital transformation plan. Only 59% said they have both.

“This is a critical observation we make at Talsom: the companies we assist, which have both a digital transformation plan and an investment plan, are clearly ahead of their competitors in their digital economy and are making significant gains in competitiveness," said Stéphane Ricoul, marketing & partnerships director at Talsom, which is a member of the RFSPI.

The surveyed companies recognized that they should capitalize more on digital technology in key departments, particularly production (44%), communications and marketing (42%), operations (40%), and merchandising (36%)

When asked what the main hurdles to transformation were, the top choice was a lack of internal skills and employee motivation (60%). Respondents also identified difficulty aligning transformation with their business model and challenges in establishing key performance indicators.