Beyond Disruption 2020 Business Pulse

2020 delivered an unforeseen level of disruption across virtually all industries. In a time of uncertainty, disruption as a future possibility was replaced by innovation and action. Many organisations were compelled to adapt existing technology, rethink investments and fast-track transformation plans to ensure business continuity.

In light of this rapid shift, DXC and emerging technology analyst firm Telsyte, conducted over 600 interviews over an eight-week period to form a four-pulse business study, Beyond Disruption 2020. The study tapped into the learnings and insights of business and technology leaders to give you an up-to-date snapshot, uncovering how Australian and New Zealand organisations are adapting, innovating, investing and transforming in this challenging climate to survive, and prepare for growth.

The report expands on the findings of our Beyond Disruption business study and provides practical and effective recommendations to help your organisation emerge from disruption with clear skies ahead.

"Australian and New Zealand businesses were compelled to transform almost overnight, and the majority rose to the challenge in an incredible display of resilience."

Seelan Nayagam,
Managing Director, Asia Pacific

Five recommendations to help your organisation

Many organisations have been surprised by their ability to adapt to new ways of working during the recent disruptions, reflecting on “what would have taken us two years took two weeks”. Going forward, it is important to harness the learnings to explore more productive ways of working throughout the recovery phase and beyond.

Organisations should adapt their business and technology strategy with the same sense of urgency that was used in response to the disruptions of 2020.

Beyond Disruption 2020: Recommendations

Governance and leadership key to developing resilient organisations

Create amazing employee experiences to thrive in disruption

Ensure your technology core can survive disruption

Secure your organisation against increased threats

Harness the power of data to recover, grow and stay strong

Findings and insights

Adapting to disruption

One thing has become abundantly clear, technology is now seen by the vast majority of Australian and New Zealand organisations as the answer - or at least, a large part of the answer - to overcome disruption. 

82% of organisations see technology as a key enabler in managing disruption, rising to 92% for organisations with more than 1,000 employees.

Investing in technology

Despite the recent disruptions adversely affecting the majority of industries, organisations plan to increase technology spending by 5% across the entire business, rising to 10% for those with over 1,000 employees, reaffirming technology as a key enabler to manage disruption.

While technology is a part of most business strategies, the disruptions of 2020 have compelled many organisations to move quickly with 80% fast-tracking their technology modernisation.

Building business resilience

The focus on employees to overcome disruption has also transformed company cultures. Organisational flexibility, employee commitment and leadership and management style were noted as the key factors in building resilience against disruption. 

52% of organisations have cultivated a culture of productivity, encouraging collaboration and employee commitment towards a shared vision of overcoming disruption.

Recovery and data-driven insights

Despite the ongoing disruption, a willingness to invest in new technologies and transformation efforts on employee well-being has resulted in varying levels of optimism from organisations. 54% believe it will take between up to three years to fully recover from the disruptions, 25% are hopeful of recovering by the end of the year and only 6% believe it will take longer than three years to recover.


The research in this study is based on 620 interviews conducted with Australian (406) and New Zealand (214) technology decision makers in June and July 2020.

Interviews were conducted over four pulses with greater than 150 respondents per wave. Interviews were conducted utilising an online survey and were completed on computers, tablets and smartphones. Each wave took respondents up to five minutes to complete.

Respondents included Chief Executive Officers (CEO), Chief Operating Officers (COO), Chief Information Ocers (CIO), Chief Digital Officers (CDO), managers and other technology decision makers. Respondents were required to have a strong understanding of their organisation’s IT and digital purchasing and strategy.

Random sampling was conducted across all industries with results weighted to Australian Bureau of Statistics and Stats NZ population estimates by Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification class and business size. Sampling (and weighting) was conducted with organisations with 20+ employees in Australia and 5+ employee organisations in New Zealand.