CIOs Can Weather The Covid-19 Crisis

Asia Blockchain Review
April 27, 2020
CIOs Can Weather The Covid-19 Crisis

It’s all about being pragmatic in the face of an onslaught. The world is in a state of flux. This global pandemic is turning everything on its head. “The new normal is not clear yet, but we need to start moving toward it.” We are all not sure about the implications and repercussions from the COVID-19 crisis yet. But one thing is crystal clear, technology leaders need to get ahead of the curve and stay ahead.

It’s Not Rosy At All

From quarantines to lock-downs, hospitals bursting at the seams, the harrowing images all underscore just how devastating the human impacts of the pandemic are. This is where CIOs need to understand that technology is now even more important than ever before to maintain leadership.

The above graphic is from a McKinsey & Company report, and it shows just how fast things are changing in the commercial areas for any business. There is now a demand for enhanced collaboration. But the strain on other parts of the business is now increasing. It’s time to look ahead quickly. Of course, CIOs are all focusing on stabilizing emergency measures, scaling down in the interim and pivoting to new areas of focus as well.

The Time For Strengthening Is Now

Remote-working capabilities is now the utmost priority. Organizations need to increase network capacity, implement scalable support processes, tighten controls whilst securing and deploying temporary solutions at scale. CIOs need to address the users of critical systems and employees of finance functions to ensure they can continue to operate effectively, remotely.

Improving Cybersecurity

The McKinsey & Company report highlights the need to focus on people-based initiatives that heighten the awareness of risk. When it comes to remote working, social engineering and insufficient security measures are the main risks. Strengthening security protocols to deal with fraud, theft and intellectual property theft is a big priority. MFA (Multi-factor authentication) is a big deal these days. USB tokens, smartphone applications or bio-metric methods are popular. It’s time for CIOs to be proactive in this regard.

It’s All About Agility

Teams need to be structured differently in the remote working arena. The report recommends that smaller agile ones, with clear accountability and expanded use of technology be set up. CIOs also need to be realistic about things right now. Its wise to scale down in the interim and creatively redeploy the workforce. Being aggressive in IT cost reductions does not have to come at the expense of flexibility. It may also be time to reevaluate outsourcing partners during these trying times. All of us need to be thoughtful and creative doing these turbulent moments, but sometimes its always good to hit the ‘reset’ button.

Engagement Is Paramount

There is one thing that we all need to remember in this new world order, its time for interaction. Engagement methods need to be re-imagined. Online sales, service channels and general customer purchasing behavior is going to change forever. So, organizations need to optimize their existing online channels to improve customer interactions and solidify retention. The time for digitization on a grand scale is upon us. Technology departments need to understand that customers are shopping from home, so chat programs, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) and other cutting edge methods are being used to entice customers these days.  As they say, the only constant in life is change…and taxes.

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