The impact of COVID-19
on IT investments
﹣a free report

Is the pandemic causing harm to IT investments? Read the report gathering insights from 135 business leaders worldwide. See how they are adapting to this challenging situation and how COVID-19 is influencing their organizations.

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How the pandemic is influencing IT investments
What tools and solutions are experiencing a boost
Which industries are expected to grow despite the pandemic
How the current situation affects hiring and layoffs

How COVID-19 impacts IT investments

The question for us wasn’t to what extent companies were affected negatively
– but whether they were affected at all. The first question asked was whether
due to coronavirus given company’s IT investments will increase, decrease,
or won’t be affected.

 

The responses distributed nearly evenly among these options with 31.4% of
respondents stating that their investments will increase, 32.8% saying their
investments will decrease, and the winning choice with a slight advantage
over the other options turned out to be no impact on IT investments with
35.8% of respondents selecting this answer.

 

The impact of COVID-19 on IT investments

What’s interesting about the statements of planned IT investments is the
fact that these vary across different company sizes. For this report, we
assume that a small company is one that has up to 50 employees, a medium
company has 51 to 200 employees, and a big company – 201 employees or
more. As you can see below, most (41%) small companies claim that COVID-19
will have no impact on their IT investments. In practice, this means that the
situation for these companies hasn’t changed drastically enough to require
a decrease in such investments and, at least in these terms, it’s business as
usual. Medium companies, on the other hand, mostly plan to increase their
investments – 39% of respondents state that their IT investments will grow.
When it comes to big companies, responses implying a decrease and an
increase are equal, with 40% each. Only 20% of big companies claim that the
COVID-19 pandemic will have no impact on their IT investments. See Figure
2 below for a comparison of small/medium/big companies’ responses on
COVID-19’s impact on their IT investments.

With the results not far apart from each other, we cannot conclude that
the majority of companies experience the pandemic’s impact in a given
way – however, we could check what areas are more, or less, interesting to
businesses right now due to the changes caused by the pandemic.
What’s more, we’ve found that medium and big companies are slightly more
likely to explore more areas to invest in than small businesses. This means
that bigger companies (51 or more employees) select more areas of interest
compared to smaller companies (up to 50 employees).

Preply is certainly experiencing traffic spikes and therefore a bigger load on our systems. Traffic in impacted countries like Italy or Spain has tripled. In the short term, we solve for this by purchasing more servers and building infrastructure as it is the fastest way to scale. Meanwhile, we're also working on optimizing our systems as we saw a partial decrease in our core page speed metrics like TTFB and FCP. To do that, we launched a stabilization sprint last week when product teams focus on fixing scalability issues and ensuring top-notch security of our systems. Whilst feature freeze is not on the table, we are focused more than ever on developments that will minimize the impact on internal departments such as tutor success and customer support.

Before the COVID-19 situation hit, Preply was already on a strong growth trajectory, with revenues from classes having grown by 10x in the last three years. As the world went into social distancing mode, and even more people turned to remote learning, we've seen this traction build. Having just closed our last round of $10 million, we are in an excellent position to grow the team and continue our mission of building the future of effective learning

Dmytro Voloshyn, co-founder and CTO at Preply

As presented in the chart above, the areas that spark the most interest at the
moment include collaboration tools with 48.8% of respondents claiming their
investments in such will now increase, AI with 39.5%, process automation
with 36.4%, video tools with 34.1%, and on-line education with 33.3%. The
areas that received the least amount of responses include content marketing,
sales & marketing, R&D, software development, and web development, to
name a few, with only 0.7% of respondents expressing interest in the

 

48.8% of companies will increase their
investments in collaboration tools

 

Given that the vast majority of companies have recently turned to a fullyremote work mode,
responses such as collaboration or video tools do
not come as a surprise. In a remote work environment, teams will often
find themselves in need of additional tools to hone collaboration and
communication while being distant from one another.

 

Online education is on the rise, and will most probably continue to grow
in popularity since brick and mortar educational institutions had to turn to
the online to continue with their courses, while employees will not be able
to receive face to face training. Since it’s often suggested that the obligatory
isolation supplies people with additional free time, they’re also able to
dedicate more time to online courses, which may have not been an obvious
choice before. In general, online education tools can support teaching
& learning for educational organizations, companies, and individuals. More
tools for assisting online learning will be needed, and the existing e-learning
platforms may experience a spike in the number of users.

 

On the other hand, R&D is not expected to be an area most businesses will
choose to invest in. The pandemic makes these days uncertain and leaves
us asking “How much longer will it take?”. Without knowing how much more
companies will have to endure, R&D projects are too risky to invest in since
they’re experimental and do not guarantee success.

 

Another area that won’t be seeing much growth these days is marketing,
including content marketing. While marketing efforts will not be stopped
for many companies – but might be for some that had to be closed due to
the pandemic, the focus will switch to other areas or channels. Companies
will be adjusting their strategies and efforts to keep up with the challenges
posed by the current situation, but in many cases, this transition will not
require an increase in investments for marketing purposes.

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