Pre-COVID-19, private and public organisations were on a journey towards a digital business model, travelling at varying speeds. But the scale of the pandemic has forced a dramatic acceleration, both in the speed of change and the required investment in digital transformation.

According to KPMG’s 2020 global survey, organisations are investing heavily in technology to address immediate concerns like falling revenue and interrupted supply chains, and to build longer-term competitiveness and resilience.

Digital transformation: in numbers

According to KPMG’s 2020 global survey:

67 %

...say they’ve accelerated their digital transformation strategy as a result of COVID-19

63 %

...say they’ve increased their digital transformation budget as a result of COVID-19

Base: 780 professionals involved with digital transformation strategy decisions (commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of KPMG, July 2020)

The pace and the degree of digital transformation is accelerating in the wake of COVID-19, with ever greater pressure to meet customers wherever they are. This calls for flexible, 'commerce everywhere' business models, and a renewed focus on employee experience and purpose, to drive an enhanced customer experience.

Mirium Hernandez-Kakol
Global Head of Management Consulting

Gaining a digital edge: five key challenges

It’s the evolution of customer needs, attitudes and values that will most disrupt how businesses compete.

The pandemic has focused minds on employees’ wellbeing and values. An exceptional customer experience can only be delivered by people who believe in their organisation’s purpose, and who feel prized by management and customers. To stay ahead in the digital, post-COVID-19 age, organisations should attain the capability to connect digitally with customers, suppliers and employees. This means addressing five key challenges:

Digital acceleration

Rapidly build a digital technology infrastructure, to connect front, middle and back offices.

Customer behaviour

Create customer-centric business, digital commerce-driven models where customers buy and engage through integrated digital channels – increasingly with little or no physical contact.

Supply chain and operations

By digitally connecting with suppliers and service providers, and investing in analytics, companies gain resilience and flexibility, to respond to customer needs and market dynamics.

Ways of working

Organisations must become more nimble, by accessing the skills they need both internally and via external resources, and combining a physical and a virtual footprint.


Digitally enabled organisations have the capabilities to withstand the impact of pandemics (and other shocks) and should be far more agile on their path to recovery.

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