Over half of UK businesses will boost digital skills spend in 2021

More than half (56 per cent) of UK businesses are planning to increase their digital skills training budgets for staff in 2021, as part of their response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

A Censuswide survey of 200 senior decision-makers in large and medium sized companies for IT services provider Transputec, found that a majority (53 per cent) of businesses are planning to increase their IT infrastructure budget next year.

The study found that as a result of rising demand for digital services during the pandemic, businesses are planning to increase the use of digital collaboration tools to help improve staff well-being and create more cohesive teams.

The shift to digital has also changed hiring decisions, with a third of business decision-makers stating they already have plans to recruit a chief digital officer or equivalent IT specialist to help prepare for the post-COVID economy.

In addition, 41 per cent revealed that they are seeking to employ new candidates with a high level of digital skills due to the pandemic, and 31 per cent admitted to giving their IT team a bonus due to recent efforts in getting the company through the crisis.

As part of cost-cutting measures, 44 per cent of respondents said that they were planning to downsize office space and accelerate remote working in order to cut costs.

Due to the steadily evolving situation, and because most businesses have already successfully adapted to remote working, half of those surveyed (49 per cent) admitted that they expect to see growth next year.

Sonny Sehgal, chief executive of Transputec, said: “COVID-19 has already had a devastating impact on UK business, and we’re not out of the woods yet; fortunately, cutting edge technology has facilitated a mass shift to remote and digital working, and as a result, many businesses have observed benefits of lower overheads and more streamlined and efficient operations through managed services.

“Therefore, we can expect flexible working to stay with us for the long-term, even after it is deemed safe to return to the office on a permanent basis.”

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