IT trends 2021

Capgemini: Survey on IT trends 2021

IT makes business possible despite restrictions on contact 

Technology investment and aims

At the time of the survey, in September and October 2020, the economic prospects were uncertain due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In such a situation, one would expect companies to make severe budget cuts. However, only around 15 per cent of the participating companies have in fact reduced their IT expenses, which corresponds approximately to last year’s level. A larger proportion of respondents (around 27 per cent) have frozen their IT budgets. 48.4 per cent are increasing their IT expenses, compared to 63.1 per cent last year.
Occasioned by the pandemic, 87 per cent of businesses and public authorities have expanded digitalisation. Moreover, CIOs seem to be focusing more on adapting their IT to the needs of the end customers. Data security, improved analysis and use of data, shorter release cycles and the creation of partner networks are also gaining importance, whereas flexibility and efficiency are viewed as being less significant.
On average, almost 47 per cent of all IT expenditure is used for the maintenance of systems. CIOs spend around 27 per cent of the IT budget on modernisations and some 26 per cent on developing and implementing innovations. These figures correspond approximately to the level of three years ago.


Smart technologies

On average, the use of smart technologies has slightly risen over the past 12 months.
The priorities as to the areas of use are similar to last year’s, with automation of manual tasks still in the lead. However, all the responding CIOs view the value of the individual measures for users more critically than other decision makers in the business.

Technological trends

This year, the participants attach the greatest importance to production safety and security, predictive analytics, protection against threats posed by IoT-enabled devices, DevOps and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) without AI support. Least important are chatbots, voice control, virtual assistants, virtual and augmented reality applications, blockchain technologies and mobile wallets.

Cloud and data

Data provide the basis for smart technologies. Data platforms are integrated technology solutions that make it possible to manage and access information from various sources and make it available to users, applications or other technologies. As a data platform is, to a certain extent, a prerequisite for business-wide digitalisation, its use has become increasingly widespread. At present, more than two thirds of the respondents operate a data platform and, as a rule, view it as a strategic component of their IT infrastructure.

Data exchange is increasing in every area

Moreover, as data platforms have become increasingly easy to build and operate, the acceptance and dissemination of interface standards is growing. The result is a higher volume of data exchange, which has risen enormously within the companies’ own supply chains this year.  Obviously, closely interconnected supply chains offer great potential for businesses, such as the possibility of exchanging information on the availability of goods or coordinating delivery times. The exchange of data with supervisory authorities has also risen markedly. As one would expect, the proportion of businesses making use of this possibility is highest among providers of financial services, at over 90 per cent.

Companies should continue to invest in building platforms and utilising the data that they yield. As the quality of AI services of cloud providers continues to improve, businesses with adequate datasets will be able to use smart technologies ever more easily and in ever more areas.