Survey highlights COVID challenges, solutions for businessesWednesday, March 03, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— A third of businesses are not currently happy with their existing technologies and 74 per cent are looking to improve remote working capabilities. That's the assessment according to a survey conducted by Digicel Business.
The survey, conducted in late 2020 targeting senior decision makers or influencers within businesses (ranging from SMEs to public and private sectors organisations) in the Caribbean and the Pacific, explored the impact on business performance, current concerns, future outlook, and system improvements made since COVID-19 restrictions, and priorities moving forward to improve system resilience.
Covering multiple sectors from six countries in the Caribbean and two in the Pacific regions, there were many similar challenges.
“From the more than 3,000 respondents, some common concerns included funding challenges, business productivity, cybersecurity threats, and dissatisfaction with remote working technology,” the report stated.
In Jamaica, for example, 21 per cent of businesses are struggling to pay suppliers, 29 per cent are facing difficulties when requesting payments from customers, and more than a third of businesses are seeing a 40 per cent+ hit on revenue.
“Digicel Business is in the business of providing solutions, but instead of presuming to know what the challenges are, we believe in doing the research to find out firsthand, so that we can address problems directly, and turn these challenges into opportunities for our customers,” said Tom Carson, Digicel Group chief business officer.
“The result of this is our COVID-19 Business Impact Report and Recovery Guide.”
The report said disruption from the pandemic has tested system resilience at an unprecedented level and highlighted key shortcomings and vulnerabilities, and despite efforts to improve systems, almost a third of businesses are still not satisfied with their existing technologies, and are looking to make improvements primarily in areas concerned with remote working and process automation.
Of those surveyed, 48 per cent plan to offer staff remote working options after the threat of COVID-19 has passed, so strengthening IT infrastructure resilience will be crucial, and by focusing on flexible workplace; collaboration and communication; business continuity; cyber security and smart technologies, organisations can drive long-term business resilience.
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