No one disagrees that 2020 was a dreadful year. But with vaccinations now being administered, people are becoming somewhat more hopeful and optimistic about this new year. And as IT leaders look back on 2020, many are saying that although the pandemic was incredibly challenging and difficult, it also resulted in some benefits for their organizations.
In its report on how the pandemic affected business operations, McKinsey wrote, "In just a few months’ time, the COVID-19 crisis has brought about years of change in the way companies in all sectors and regions do business." It added, "According to a new McKinsey Global Survey of executives, their companies have accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years. And the share of digital or digitally enabled products in their portfolios has accelerated by a shocking seven years."
Cisco's report A New Perspective on the Modern Workplace based on a survey conducted by Freeform Dynamics expressed a similar idea: "While you could regard this activity as representing a form of ‘crisis management,’ the reality is, it’s hard to remember a time when so many organizations have made so much progress with digital and business transformation so quickly." It also found that 75% of business leaders surveyed believed, "Despite the challenges, their organizations will emerge stronger, at least in some areas, as a result of the crisis."
The pandemic brought many issues that IT leaders are most concerned about to the attention of senior business leaders. CEOs are now more likely than ever to rely on their CIOs for advice. And a lot of that advice is likely to center around lessons learned during the crisis.
The following slides highlight 10 lessons IT leaders and teams learned during the pandemic that are likely to shape business operations as the crisis (hopefully) begins to abate.