IT's Pandemic Year: Lessons Learned for the Year Ahead

CIOs and IT organizations rose to meet tremendous challenges driven by a 100-year pandemic and how it has reshaped the world. Here are the lessons they are taking into 2021.

Jessica Davis, Senior Editor

December 23, 2020

3 Min Read
Image: Pixabay

There's a meme that's been making the rounds of the internet that reads like a social media restaurant review: "2020: Do not recommend. one star." It's funny because it's true.

This past year was like no other in our collective memories because none of us alive now has lived through a 100-year pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic that to date has infected more than 75 million people, killing nearly 1.7 million globally, has reshaped our world. In the US alone more than 17 million have been infected and more than 300,000 are dead.

Around the world businesses have sent their workforces home to work remotely when possible, enabled by the cloud-powered digital transformations of the past several years. Consumers have avoided retail stores due to lockdowns or their own safety measures. Instead of shopping in person they have ordered their necessities from online retailers to be delivered, requiring suppliers to pivot sales channels, supply chains, and customer service delivery.

All along the way CIOs and IT organizations have worked to quickly prepare and equip their organizations for these sudden and unexpected changes -- to send workers home, support the increase in customer service requests, expand into ecommerce, and more. They did this at an unprecedented speed. Projects that would have taken 2 years to plan and execute were turned around in a matter of days.

While 2020 may be almost over, we are just now seeing the distribution of vaccines for COVID-19 and it will be months before the vaccine can be distributed widely to all groups. But as we reach the end of this wild and surprising year, it's time to take stock of the lessons learned -- and there were many -- as well as looking forward to how we will apply them in our new reality going forward. Here's a collection of articles to help you do just that.

CIOs Prep for 2021 Post-Pandemic Opportunity

Gartner's CIO Agenda survey reveals that top CIOs are capitalizing on renewed interest by corporate boards in digital business and technologies for improving customer experience.

IT Pivots: Survival Lessons From a Turbulent Year

2020 disrupted most companies' plans, but some were better positioned to weather the pandemic's impact than others.

Predicting How Biden Might Tackle Tech Policy

Here's how one independent tech industry analyst thinks the Biden administration will tackle a wide range of tech industry issues in its first 90 days and beyond.

7 Business Continuity Lessons Any Organization Can Learn

Here are some habits that organizations can apply to overcome the challenges, keep employees safe, manage risk and come through any crisis, stronger than ever. 

What Comes Next for the COVID-19 Computing Consortium

Supercomputing and academic resources to accelerate research into the virus shift gears as vaccines to fight the pandemic might be nearing production.

Is Your Pandemic-Fueled Cloud Migration Sustainable?

COVID-19 shoved enterprises into the cloud. While remote work is sustainable, emergency cloud strategies are not.

About the Author(s)

Jessica Davis

Senior Editor

Jessica Davis is a Senior Editor at InformationWeek. She covers enterprise IT leadership, careers, artificial intelligence, data and analytics, and enterprise software. She has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology. Follow her on twitter: @jessicadavis.

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