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Survey of UK business leaders shows shifts in investments, priorities, customer engagement, and Enterprise Service Management.

Study: Business Leaders Discuss the Impact of 2020 and Plans for the Future

TOPdesk, a global provider of enterprise IT service management solutions, announces the results of the Transforming the Norm survey, a comprehensive study of 500 C-Suite leaders in the UK that sought to understand how business has transformed and to offer insights into the future of business.

 Investment and priority shifts

The leaders TOPdesk spoke with expressed long wish lists of resources they hope to invest in to innovate within their organisations. The most likely areas of investment in the next 12 months are technology and infrastructure (63%).

Of those who said they planned to make new investments in the next year, 87% said they are currently reassessing their investment priorities. The survey found that organisations most affected by global impacts and those reassessing priorities are larger in size, with 92% of respondents in organisations with 250-500 employees saying that they’ve had to reassess their priorities.

For those who have reassessed their investment plans, these contemplations have led many (72%) to make significant changes to their priorities of investments in the last 12 months. That’s a substantial number who have changed their priorities in response to external stimulus.

Only 2% of respondents said nothing has changed for them despite outside influences.

 
Customer engagement

Communicating directly with customers has been pivotal given the remote nature of the business world. More than half (54%) of business leaders said email is the most important channel for customers to engage with their business. Telephone is nearly as popular (53%) and in-person communication remains a strong engagement channel, with 40% citing these as important engagements. Thirty-five percent said live chat is the most important channel in terms of how their customers engage with them.

Organisational size does play a role in these communication channels. Sixty-two percent of those interviewed within companies with 50 to 99 employees said email is the most important engagement channel in terms of how their customers engage with them. Likewise, 48% of respondents working in companies with more than 500 employees said the same.

 
What customers deem valuable

While most organisational leaders believe they are in touch with their customers, the truth is it’s hard to understand just how real these sentiments are. The Transforming the Norm survey found 79% of business leaders believe they are in touch with their customer bases and understand what they see as value. Just 5% said they don’t know what their customers want.

Most organisational leaders (75%) said they strongly believe that demand for customer self-service will increase over the course of the next two years. However, whether organisations are meeting these expectations is a different story. Only 42% of business leaders said they are currently able to meet customer expectations for self-sufficiency, but doing so requires ‘some work’.

Only 29% said ‘Yes, everything’s in place’ to meet customer expectations.

Forty-four percent working in a company with more than 500 employees said providing self-sufficiency is possible with some work, whereas only 19% of respondents working in a company with 50 to 99 employees said the same.

 Understanding the value of Enterprise Service Management

Business leaders of the following sized organisations did not understand Enterprise Service Management:

• 79% of the C-Suite in businesses with 1-50 employees.

• 55% of the C-Suite in businesses with 51-250 employees.

• 27% of the C-Suite in businesses with 251-500 employees.

• 49% of the C-Suite in businesses with more than 500 employees.

Gartner categorises organisations with between 100 and 999 employees as midsize enterprises, the size of organisation that sees the most value from an ESM solution. These organisations are mature enough to have several service departments serving multiple teams and users, and a shared services solution within these organisations provides maximum value.

However, almost half of business leaders from companies with more than 500 employees are unaware of ESM or the value it can provide. This data suggests a disconnect between business leaders and those working on the front-line of the business, which may arise from processes and collaboration not being the primary responsibility of business leaders in large or mature companies.

Similarly, a high percentage of respondents from small businesses lack knowledge of ESM. While the benefit of ESM isn’t based on number of employees within an organisation, smaller organisations don’t have developed or defined departments, which does directly affect the value added by utilising an ESM solution.

Of the 64% survey respondents who are familiar with the concept of ESM, 89% agreed that ESM brings value to their organisation. This shows that while there is an unawareness of ESM within the C-Suite as a whole, those who know about ESM, understand its value and see its benefits in the form of tangible value added to their teams and customer experiences.

When asked to put a figure onto the value added in reference to their annual revenue, 57% said ESM saves them between 11% and 30% of their overall annual costs.

 Methodology

TOPdesk commissioned market research firm Censuswide, which spoke to 500 C-Suite business leaders throughout the United Kingdom in July 2020. Additional insight was collected from business leaders by TOPdesk in October and November 2020.

For more information collected through the survey and to better understand key takeaways from the data, visit here to download the e-book.

 About TOPdesk

TOPdesk develops, implements, and supports an Enterprise Service Management (ESM) solution that helps organisations to efficiently manage the services they provide. Departments, such as IT, HR, and facilities can perform their work both collaboratively and separately with a single tool. TOPdesk is available as a local installation or Software-as-a-Service, and the solution can be tailored to meet every organisation’s needs.

TOPdesk has 15 branches worldwide, including in the UK, the US, Canada, Brazil, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Denmark, Norway and Australia. Visit www.topdesk.co.uk for more information.

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