Digital communications strategies given a six year boost by COVID-19

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The coronavirus crisis has led to many changes in working patterns. But what's its effect on the longer term strategies of businesses?

Cloud communications platform Twilio surveyed over 2,500 enterprise decision makers globally to gauge the effect of the pandemic on their companies' digital transformation and communication roadmaps.

It finds that COVID-19 has accelerated companies' digital communications strategy by an average of six years. 97 percent of enterprise decision makers believe the pandemic has sped up their company's digital transformation.

"Over the last few months, we've seen years-long digital transformation roadmaps compressed into days and weeks in order to adapt to the new normal as a result of COVID-19. Our customers in nearly every industry have had to identify new ways to communicate with their customers and stakeholders -- from patients, to students, to shoppers, and even employees -- essentially overnight," says Glenn Weinstein, chief customer officer at Twilio. "Cloud scale, speed, and agility are enabling organizations to innovate faster than ever. We believe the solutions being built today will be the standard for digital engagement in the future."

Almost all companies surveyed (95 percent) say they are seeking new ways of engaging customers as a result of COVID-19. And 92 percent say transforming digital communications is extremely or very critical to address current business challenges.

The study also shows that previous inhibitors to innovation have been broken down, 79 percent of respondents say that COVID-19 increased their budget for digital transformation. In addition companies report an easing of barriers, such as, lack of clear strategy (37 percent), getting executive approval (37 percent), reluctance to replace legacy software (35 percent), and lack of time (34 percent).

Communication is taking on new importance too, 92 percent say their organization is very or somewhat likely to expand digital communication channels as the world reopens. Over half (54 percent) say COVID-19 has propelled focus on omnichannel communications and 53 percent added new channels during the pandemic. One in three companies has started using live chat and IVR channels for the first time as a result of COVID-19.

The full report is available from the Twilio site.

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