Companies across the world spent the equivalent of around USD 15 billion extra a week on technology to enable safe and secure home working during Covid-19, according to a 2020 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO (Chief Information Officer) Survey.
This was one of the biggest surges in technology investment in history, with the world’s IT leaders spending more than their annual budget rise in just three months, as the global crisis hit, and lockdowns began to be enforced.
Harvey Nash/KPMG’s study also found that despite the huge surge of spending, and security & privacy being the top investment during Covid-19, four in ten IT leaders report that their company has experienced more cyber-attacks. Over three quarters of these attacks were from phishing (83%), and almost two thirds from malware (62%) suggesting that the massive move to home working has increased exposure from employees.
At the same time, organisations have struggled to find skilled cyber security professionals to support the shift to homeworking. They report that cyber security (35%) is now the most ‘in demand’ technology skill in the world. This is the first time a security related skill has topped the list of global technology skills shortages for over a decade.
After investment in security and privacy (47%), investment in infrastructure and the cloud was the third most important technology investment during Covid-19
Although technology spend has risen dramatically during the pandemic, the survey found that technology budgets will be under more strain over the year ahead. Prior to Covid-19, 51% of IT leaders expected a budget rise in the next 12 months, but during the pandemic this number declined to 43%.
Bev White, CEO of the Harvey Nash Group said, “This unexpected and unplanned surge in technology investment has also been accompanied by massive changes in how organisations operate, with more organisational change in the last six months than we have seen in the last ten years.”
Meanwhile, eight in ten IT leaders during Covid-19 are concerned about the mental health of their team, which has resulted in 58% putting programs in place to support their staff.
In addition to cyber security skills (35%), the next three most scarce technology skills are organisational change management (27%), enterprise architecture (23%) and technical architecture and advanced analytics both at 22%, the study found.