CIO Agenda for Proper Now: Priorities a 12 months Into the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has modified how we do every part. Now it is time to assess the modifications and refactor your operations and digital transformation plan.

As soon as primarily occupied with inside expertise techniques and supporting customers of these techniques, the CIO function has definitely modified over the previous couple of many years. However most vital change has most likely occurred over the past 12 months, pushed by circumstances. In that point, chief info officers have come to the rescue of organizations pressured to function in a brand new digital atmosphere when a lot of the bodily atmosphere shut down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The modifications hit so many components of the enterprise, from how clients purchase to how customer support is delivered. Organizations shifted employees from workplaces to house workplaces, setting them up with the gear and expertise wanted to work securely in a distant location. Companies that used to promote solely or primarily from bodily areas immediately wanted to discover an expanded ecommerce operation. Logistics and supply operations have been turned the other way up as ecommerce turned a main means for purchasers to purchase.

Picture: snowing12 –

All these modifications and extra put CIOs and different IT leaders in an essential and influential function in the event that they weren’t there already. Certain, these executives had already been trending towards changing into extra essential advisors to the remainder of the C-suite over time. However now digital had turn into the central means of doing enterprise, not some facet venture that we might unfold out over the subsequent 5 years and pull funding from throughout a lean 12 months.

These modifications are everlasting. The transfer to digital is right here to remain, and the enterprise wants expertise leaders to take it into the longer term.

“CIOs now have new obligations,” mentioned Terry White, an analyst at Omdia and creator of Reinventing the C-Suite, in an interview with InformationWeek. “They’re the transformation supervisor, enterprise growth supervisor, buyer expertise supervisor. There is a bunch of recent roles that aren’t purely technology-related, however as a result of the world has gone digital it’s affecting each a part of the enterprise.”

Terry White

Terry White

As we are actually a 12 months into the pandemic disaster, what are the brand new tendencies that CIOs must be right this moment? White put collectively an inventory and a report to assist CIOs and their organizations type out the priorities. At a excessive stage, these priorities are summarized with 5 key messages.

First, the COVID-19 pandemic introduced a interval of speedy change and challenges for organizations, and that has accelerated technological change. Future situations might be considerably totally different from the previous and even from the current, in accordance with White.

Second, working fashions have needed to change. Now that the mud has settled, organizations might be utilizing the remainder of 2021 to overview and consolidate the entire modifications which have occurred in organizations, White mentioned.

Third, the pandemic has raised new enterprise priorities. Earn a living from home has been one among them. However deeper in that pattern, the pandemic has disrupted conventional analysis performed by enterprise and has raised totally different priorities for innovators, in accordance with White. Plus, the work-from-home pattern will drive important organizational modifications. Distant management poses challenges for presence and affect, in accordance with White. Leaders and managers might want to adapt their kinds to embody non-line-of-sight supervision and efficiency administration.

Fourth, the CIO function has modified and can proceed to alter. Expertise and the CIO’s response to the pandemic, lockdown, and financial downturn, meant that many organizations have been capable of survive the preliminary disaster. White believes that CEOs will now anticipate CIOs to play a extra strategic function of their organizations. Particularly, CIOs might be requested to increase their non-IT obligations. White sees seven doable new accountability areas for CIOs together with enterprise technique, buyer centricity, product growth and help, enterprise growth, enterprise resilience, agility at scale, and ecosystem enabling.

Lastly, this 12 months will proceed to be difficult and disruptive. White advises CIOs to revisit their digital transformation packages and reprioritize them for present budgets and realities. Whereas digital transformation was patchy earlier than the disaster, now digital interactions are probably the most prevalent interactions in our on a regular basis lives, White factors out. As an example, extra clients are searching and ordering services on-line, extra workers are working from house and likewise being recruited and interviewed on-line, business-to-business interactions are additional on-line than earlier than, and enterprise journey has largely been changed by on-line conferences.

CIOs have to take inventory of all these modifications in 2021 and develop an organization-wide digital transformation technique, in accordance with White.

“COVID has accelerated present tendencies five-fold,” White mentioned. 

For extra on CIO priorities proper now, learn:

IT’s New Window of Alternative to Sort out These High Priorities

CIOs Face Choices on Distant Work for Publish-Pandemic Future

How Leveraged AIOps Technique Whereas Scaling Up

How CIOs Can Recruit Extra Girls into IT


Jessica Davis is a Senior Editor at InformationWeek. She covers enterprise IT management, careers, synthetic intelligence, knowledge and analytics, and enterprise software program. She has spent a profession overlaying the intersection of enterprise and expertise. Observe her on twitter: … View Full Bio

We welcome your feedback on this subject on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions concerning the website.

Extra Insights