We asked executives how long they expected it would have taken their companies prepandemic to digitize 12 different activities and how long it actually took them once the coronavirus hit. When it came to remote working, companies moved 43 times more quickly than executives thought possible.
Chart: Executives say their companies responded to a range of COVID-19–related changes much more quickly than they thought possible before the crisis.
|Change||Expected||Actual||Acceleration factor, multiple||Type of change|
|Increase in remote working and/or collaboration||454||10.5||43||Organizational|
|Increasing customer demand for online purchasing/services||585||21.9||27||Industry-wide|
|Increasing use of advanced technologies in operations||672||26.5||25||Organizational|
|Increasing use of advanced technologies in business decision making||635||25.4||25||Organizational|
|Changing customer needs/expectations2||511||21.3||24||Industry-wide|
|Increasing migration of assets to the cloud||547||23.2||24||Organizational|
|Changing ownership of last-mile delivery||573||24.4||23||Industry-wide|
|Increase in nearshoring and/or insourcing practices||547||26.6||21||Organizational|
|Increased spending on data security||449||23.6||19||Organizational|
|Build redundancies into supply chain||537||29.6||18||Organizational|
1Respondents who answered "Entry of new competitors in company's market/value chain" or "exit of major competitors from company's market/value chain" are not shown; compared with the other 10 changes, respondents are much more likely to say their companies have not been able to respond.
2For instance, increased focus on health/hygiene.
McKinsey & Company
To read the article, see “How COVID-19 has pushed companies over the technology tipping point—and transformed business forever,” October 5, 2020.