- Drive global scale and expand leading positions;
- Extend into adjacencies; and
- Develop strategic partnerships.
In 2019 we embarked on our new three-year strategy, Accelerating Our Value, designed to grow our expert solutions, advance our deep domain expertise, and drive operational agility. Working alongside our customers, we will continue to apply advanced technologies to address complex problems in society.Our centers of excellence and task forces help us anticipate and respond to market trends relating to customer needs, regulation and technological changes.
Our strategic approach offers opportunities and value - important criteria for our investors. In this aspect, we are - as always - strongly committed to delivering returns to our shareholders. The customers we serve continue to be centrally important inspiration for our strategy. Their future is also the story of the future of society at large. We can derive real pride in our work simply by recognizing how we contribute to making a difference every day.
2019, the first year of this plan, was a year when we made significant progress on improving enterprise systems and infrastructure to support operational agility. At the same time, we remained focused on delivering value to our customers by scaling our expert solutions and enhancing our information products, providing a strong foundation for 2020.
While the pandemic has diverted us from our original three-year financial plan for 2019-2021, the crisis has reinforced and validated many aspects of our strategy: the evolution towards digital and expert solutions; the transition to cloud-based software platforms, and the investment to upgrade internal systems, infrastructure, and digital marketing capabilities.
Read about our progress made in 2019 & 2020
In 2020, group-wide product development spend was just over 9% of total revenues. While we continued to develop our expert solutions, we also invested to transform our digital information products, such as our medical research platform Ovid and our legal research solutions, to enhance their content, functionality and user interfaces, and to add capabilities that leverage artificial intelligence.
In 2020, we acquired three software companies with whom we had long-standing partnerships: CGE, XCM Solutions, and eOriginal. We were also active with divestments: last year, we sold eight assets and businesses that no longer fit our long-term strategic goals, helping us achieve increased focus on expert solutions.
We took steps to drive operational agility, moving further towards standardized technology platforms and components and transitioning products to the cloud. In 2020, we completed the final phase of our HR systems modernization and made progress on upgrading other back-office infrastructure.
We sustained investment in our expert solutions, extending the global reach of products, such as UpToDate, TeamMate, CCH Tagetik, OneSumX, and Enablon, and working to strengthen key distribution partnerships. We extended into the selected adjacencies of contract lifecycle management and barrier-based risk management with the acquisitions of CLM Matrix in May 2019 and CGE Risk Management in February 2020. We divested certain small assets that no longer fit our long-term strategic direction.
We stepped up investment in our digital information products, such as Ovid and our European legal research solutions, to enhance their content, functionality, and user interface and to add capabilities that leverage artificial intelligence. We made significant progress on several key initiatives to drive operational agility: in 2019, we rolled out a new global HR technology platform, greatly improving our ability to attract, retain, and develop talent. We accelerated ongoing investments and programs designed to keep data and systems secure. We made progress on extending the use of standardized technology platforms and components.
In 2020, we will continue to focus on growing our expert solutions, advancing our deep domain expertise, and driving operational agility to further grow our leading market positions and customer relationships.