The performance of companies during the pandemic depended on the levels of technological investments made and the management model embodied.
A third (33%) of French companies have reduced their IT budgets, compared to 20% in the United Kingdom and 16% in Germany, according to the recent report published by Adobe, in partnership with the London School of Economics. Of the 20,000 European leaders surveyed, the UK showed “the strongest resilience to innovation”, exceeding the EU average by 21%, followed by Germany at 20%, and far ahead of France at 4%.
Based on the observation that consumer behavior has been drastically digitized over the past ten years, and particularly over the past 12 months, “The new era of experience” draws a composite portrait of European companies that have known or no be resilient during the pandemic.
Leadership turns out to be the biggest obstacle
“The companies that have invested in technology are the ones doing the best and have even saved time on their roadmap. In this context, the experience of customers and that of employees came to the fore. It has become an essential vector of competitiveness, ”said Christophe Marée, marketing director for Western Europe at Adobe, to .
The study shows that the approach taken by organizations to leadership has played a major role in this situation. According to the study, the most successful companies are those which have been able to build a “culture based on trust”, in a generalized telework model, thus promoting employee autonomy. At the same time, they are geared towards the continuous learning and development of employees, underlines Christophe Marée.
Almost a quarter of European companies surveyed in the report fall into this category. They face the shock of the pandemic by equipping themselves through digital transformation, automation, innovation and investment. And they have also adjusted their business processes and redefined their organizational structure to favor “openness to change”.
A third of European companies emerge more vulnerable from the crisis
The organizations hardest hit by the health and economic crisis – those that the Adobe report qualifies as “fragile” – represent 34% of European companies surveyed. They have sharply reduced their expenses, and generally have little or no long-term strategic planning. The management adopted by these declining companies tends to focus more on profitability and short-term results.
Intermediate companies, those which are “rather reluctant” to change their structure in a profound way but keep some strategic technological expenses in their roadmap, are around 40% in Europe. The lack of IT skills is often pointed out as the “main obstacle to taking into account the impact of Covid-19”, the report says, even if they maintain a sufficient investment to maintain a competitive position. These companies generally adopt a short-term vision, mixed with a longer-term perspective, and adopt a “cautious” behavior to ensure their longevity, notes Christophe Marée.
With a view to exiting the crisis, Adobe observes, unsurprisingly, that weakened companies adopt a “survival mode”, unable to stand out in the long term. As for intermediary organizations, they emerge in a “status quo position”, even slightly stronger in some cases. They are able to “target and select innovation and other activities to increase the opportunity to be competitive,” the report argues. Only the most dynamic companies, ranked in the third and last category, have been able to develop during the pandemic, often adopting “new technologies and new practices”.