The coronavirus outbreak has changed the way we live and work, with many businesses offering their goods and services online for the first time, and enabling staff to work from home. As a result, the pandemic has been a catalyst for businesses to review their technology – and ensure their IT platforms can support their changed remote working, collaboration and security needs. 

Has your business adapted to the digital demands of the rapidly evolving economic environment?

The latest study from CommBank of more than 900 Australian businesses reveals why a majority are investing in their technology in a coronavirus world. Let’s see how technology is getting businesses through the tough times.  

Greater focus on productivity

Most businesses were focused on enhancing their technology capabilities before the pandemic – but the changed economic conditions have driven many to seek ways to boost efficiency and drive down costs. This has sparked widespread plans for investment in new technology (60%) and online capabilities (56%) to maximise productivity and growth. 

Unsurprisingly, large companies are leading IT investment (61%), to supply their employees with equipment to help them work productively at home, such as laptops, desks, and printers. At the same time, they have leveraged their scale to invest heavily in online capabilities (68%), with increased spending on ecommerce, supply chain and payment systems. 

However, a majority of smaller companies had also budgeted for IT and office equipment in FY21 (64%), including IT hardware and software – albeit on a smaller scale than larger enterprises. Whilst technology investment was prevalent across all industry sectors, it was driven by the health and education (52%) and services industries (42%), which require IT infrastructure to support transitioning their service delivery to online. However, retail and hospitality lagged at 26% investment in new technology – perhaps because employees in this space are unable to work remotely. 

Investment into new technologies and online capabilities

How has / will the coronavirus crisis prompt change in any of the following areas of your business?

The future of work 

Businesses anticipate that their reliance on technology will continue to grow as the year progresses – with 52% planning to invest in IT or office equipment over the next 12 months. For industries most affected by the pandemic, this proportion was even higher: 74% of services businesses and 68% of health/education businesses intending to purchase more IT equipment inthe coming year.Australian businesses and workers are resilient and are learning to adapt to a coronavirus world. As many employees become used to working from home, some may never return to the office full-time, even once the pandemic is over. The majority of Australian businesses are ahead of the curve, harnessing the power of technology to drive greater efficiency and productivity, and position them for future growth.   

Key investment areas by business size

 Nick Holmes from equigroup, CommBank’s technology leasing partner is seeing more customers turn to operating lease solutions to fund their expanding technology platforms.

“The changing nature of work means that organisations may need to think flexibly about how they deploy their resources, especially their capital,” he explains. “Businesses need the latest devices to be agile, maximise innovation using new technologies, and pivot to changing markets.” 
“Now, more than ever, it makes sense not to own your technology, but to employ a usage model that’s regularly refreshed to help you stay up to date, said Nick. 

Talk to us

To find out more about CommBank’s Asset Finance and Technology Leasing solutions, visit commbank.com.au/assetfinance or call 1800 ASSETS to access your local Australian based Asset Finance Specialists.

The CommBank survey statistics used in this article are based on a survey of 906 businesses, conducted by ACA Research for CommBank between 23 June and 8 July 2020. All statistics used are from this research unless otherwise stated.

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Things you should know

The CommBank survey statistics used in this article are based on a survey of 906 businesses, conducted by ACA 

Research for CommBank between 23 June and 8 July 2020. All statistics used are from this research unless otherwise stated.