Global Pandemic Accelerates Digital Transformation: Dell Technologies


Dell Technologies’ third biennial Digital Transformation Index details how organisations are accelerating digital transformation projects amidst unprecedented uncertainty; 4,300 business leaders in 18 countries weigh in

Dell Technologies has released results from a global study that shows organisations are shifting their digital transformation programs into high gear and are on the path to accomplish in a few months what would normally have taken them years. The findings, updated biennially in the Dell Technologies’ Digital Transformation Index (DT Index), indicate organisations are accelerating transformational technology programs during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In one of the first global studies to measure business behaviour as a result of the pandemic, Dell’s 2020 Index found that globally eight in 10 organisations, and 79 per cent in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), have fast-tracked some digital transformation programs this year, and 79 per cent globally and 77 per cent in ANZ are re-inventing their business model.

The DT Index is a global benchmark indicating organisations’ status of digital transformation and their performance across the globe. The survey included 4,300 business leaders (C-suite to Director) from mid-size to enterprise companies across 18 countries.

A new digital transformation curve

ANZ is seeing more organisations embracing digital transformation with a 14-percentage point increase from 2018 in the number of Digital Adopters and Digital Leaders (the two most digitally mature groups). Globally, a similar trend is observed where organisations in the top two groups saw an increase of 17 per cent from 28 per cent in 2018 to 45 per cent this year.

The 2020 DT Index also records that this year, there are fewer Digital Laggards (the least digitally matured group) globally with a drop of 6-percentage points since 2018, to only 3 per cent, while Digital Laggards in ANZ form only 2 per cent of those surveyed, a drop of 8-percentage points. The number of Digital Followers saw a steep fall by 17-percentage points to 13 per cent globally and 14-percentage points in ANZ to 16 per cent. These organisations are moving up, into the Digital Adopter and Digital Evaluator groups, which have expanded in tandem.

“We’ve been given a glimpse of the future, and the organisations that are accelerating their digital transformation now will be poised for success in the Data Era that is unfolding before our eyes”, says Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO, Dell Technologies.

“Using a curve visual, the global DT Index plots digital transformation progress, from one wave of the DT Index to the next.”

Appendix – Global Curve

Barriers to transformation

The pandemic may have catalysed digital transformation across the globe, but continuous transformation is challenging: 94 per cent of organisations globally and 96 per cent in ANZ are facing entrenched barriers to transformation. According to the 2020 DT Index, the following are the top 3 barriers to digital transformation success.

ANZ Barriers 2020

  • Lack of budget and resources: 41 per cent
  • Data privacy and security concerns: 36 per cent
  • Lack of economic growth: 28 per cent

Responding in an uncertain world 

Prior to the pandemic, business investments were strongly focused on foundational technologies, rather than emerging technologies. The vast majority, 89 per cent globally and 87 per cent in ANZ, recognise that as a result of the disruption this year, they need a more agile/scalable IT infrastructure to allow for contingencies. The DT Index shows the top technology investments for the next one to three years:

Global Investments ANZ Investments


Data Management tools
Data management tools


5G infrastructure


Privacy software
Privacy software


5G ready hardware & infrastructure
Multi-Cloud environment


Multi-Cloud environment


And recognising the importance of emerging technologies, 82 per cent globally and 75 per cent in ANZ envision increased usage of Augmented Reality to learn how to do or fix things in an instant; 85 per cent globally and 77 per cent in ANZ foresee organisations using Artificial Intelligence and data models to predict potential disruptions, and 78 per cent globally and 73 per cent in ANZ predict distributed ledgers – such as Blockchain – will make the gig economy fairer (by cutting out the intermediary). Despite these findings, only 16 per cent globally and 14 per cent in ANZ are planning to invest in Virtual/Augmented Reality, just 32 per cent globally and 27 per cent in ANZ  intend to invest in Artificial Intelligence, and a mere 15 per cent globally and 12 per cent in ANZ plan to invest in distributed ledgers in the next one to three years.

Research methodology

During July and August of 2020, Dell Technologies partnered with independent research company Vanson Bourne which surveyed 4,300 business leaders from mid-size to enterprise organisations across 18 countries, create a global benchmark indicating businesses’ status of transformation. Vanson Bourne classified businesses’ digital business efforts by examining their IT strategy, workforce transformation initiatives and perceived performance against a core set of digital business attributes. This is the third installment of the DT Index (the inaugural study in 2016 was followed by the second DT Index in 2018.)


Comments are closed.