As companies navigate the uncharted territory of a post-pandemic world, chief information officers and IT leaders need to make sure their technology agendas continue to set their companies and remote workers up for success.
This new remote workforce creates a unique set of challenges for C-suite leaders, who must be ‘all in’, working together to find solutions. The CIO needs to be a proactive participant in leading and driving change, describing the competitive advantage, and demonstrating the link between the technology agenda and the employee value proposition. Many companies enabled remote work successfully -- demonstrating it can work on a large scale and can be part of the new operational plan, which means the old plan goes out the window.
What may have been a priority in January, such as a PC refresh or a new software-defined wide area network, may now be on the backburner. CIOs plan for the unexpected, but most business continuity plans focus on regionally limited disruptions and on how other regions of the globe can pick up the workplace slack. COVID-19 turned those plans on their heads as a massive global pandemic was thought of as a distant possibility and as such caught many CIOs unaware.
From the broadest goal of on-the-ground operations (such as ensuring that technology systems and procedures are aligned with business goals) to planning (such as understanding digital technologies and how to cost-effectively utilize them), the CIO still plays an integral role in shaping their technology agendas. But now, an additional focus needs to be put on the forward-looking “next wave” of technical building, beyond the table-stakes priorities. And early preparation is key.
For a CIO, preparing for the future of remote working involves six key factors:
Remote work is not going away and therefore, CIOs and IT managers need to use the lessons of the present to future-ready their organizations. Seeing how the network, security and employee collaboration systems operate during the pandemic should provide the blueprint to be ready for the road ahead. By acting now, leaders can capture the needs of employees and customers and create alignment across the organization as they pivot toward the new normal.
Sampath Sowmyanarayan leads the global enterprise segment for Verizon Business Group, with responsibility for delivering innovative business solutions to Verizon’s global wireline and wireless enterprise clients. He leads a global team focused on delivering solutions to enable enterprise customers -- including 99% of the Fortune 500 -- to securely connect to the global economy and intelligently manage business interactions and operations in real-time.The InformationWeek community brings together IT practitioners and industry experts with IT advice, education, and opinions. We strive to highlight technology executives and subject matter experts and use their knowledge and experiences to help our audience of IT ... View Full Bio