- The current lockdown is yielding some benefits for executives, with 72% saying their company will have better long-term resiliency and agility, according to PwC's fifth COVID-19 CFO Pulse Survey, which was conducted during the week of May 4 and surveyed 288 U.S. finance leaders.
- Half of all financial leaders say technology investments will also help their company in the long run, though some sectors expect more of a benefit. In financial services, 60% of CFOs expect a long-term benefit from technology investments, according to the survey.
- As companies work to defer or cancel investments, 80% of CFOs plan to cut facilities and general capital expenditures, a key cost-cutting area across the PwC surveys. Half of those surveyed plan to defer or cut IT costs, but only 20% plan to cut digital transformation investments. Just 5% indicated cost cuts for cybersecurity or privacy.
Amid stay-at-home orders and pressures from the pandemic, work and corporate operations continue where possible.
PwC conducts its survey every two weeks, creating a benchmark for understanding financial executive response to the coronavirus. Workplace changes are here to stay — for some, there is no going back to the way work was executed before.
CIOs and other IT executives are reformulating budgets for the year, but companies are prioritizing technology investments that support modernization and workforce engagement.
The pandemic has dramatically accelerated digital transformation efforts, creating near-overnight adoption for tools companies are accustomed to roll-out slowly. It's an example of digital transformation by necessity.
CFOs expect technology investments to benefit their organization long-term, particularly with technology that enables remote working, such as collaboration tools.
"Many companies' futures just got accelerated," said Tim Ryan, U.S. chair and senior partner of PwC, speaking during a conference call Monday. "They're not different; they just got accelerated."
Companies are making "significant investments" in the digital well-being and upskilling of their workforce, including training and efforts to close the skills gap, Ryan said. This includes areas in mainstream technology, such as internet of things or back-office automation. "Those trends were already there a year ago, two years ago — they've just accelerated."