Sixty-nine percent of boards of directors (BoDs) accelerated their digital business initiatives in the wake of COVID-19 disruption, according to a new survey from Gartner, Inc. Almost half anticipate changing their organizations’ business model as a result of the pandemic.
The 2021 Gartner Board of Directors Survey was conducted via an online survey from May through June 2020 with 265 respondents in the U.S., EMEA and APAC in a board of director role or a member of the corporate board of directors. The survey aimed to understand how boards of directors view digital-business-driven business model evolution in their enterprises along with the role of the CIO and other executive leaders, specifically in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.
“BoDs play a strong role in helping the executive leadership team focus beyond the short-term risks associated with this extended pandemic,” said Partha Iyengar, distinguished research vice president at Gartner. “Technology-driven digital transformation can, and should be, a strong enabler in addressing employee, customer, supply chain and broad brand impact to position the enterprise to come out of the crisis stronger.”
COVID-19 Is Prompting Budgetary Changes for BoDs
The majority of BoDs (67%) expect budgetary increases in technology as a result of the pandemic, while functional areas such as marketing and HR are expected to experience budgetary cuts. Respondents expect a nearly 7% increase in their IT budgets for 2020 (see Figure 1) “The long-term ask of BoDs during COVID-19 is to approve forward-looking investments even in the face of potentially plummeting revenue and profits,” said Mr. Iyengar.