The pandemic has been the great disruptor, forcing companies of all sizes across the public and private sector to respond quickly to keep their businesses up and running. As part of a recent CIO roundtable, IT leaders discussed how they pivoted, what’s important to their organizations now, and how their learnings have shaped their path forward.
Prioritizing individuals: An investment firm’s CIO said employee buy-in is crucial to any reinvention. A systems integrator for the federal government characterizes the pandemic as a great leveler. For almost all of the attendees, people and culture were just as important as the tools and solutions they implemented.
“We want [our] team to upskill so that they can turn their attention from thinking about how cables and wires connect and if lights are green to, ‘What business problems am I trying to solve’ “. The key is organizationally empowering people and letting them be curious, says the CIO.
The CIO of a West Coast university is shifting the focus of his team. “The big purpose for the central IT shop is to convert data into information and information into a meaningful action”. The CTO of a business solutions organization believes leaders need to establish the guardrails and finish line.
Investments and Planning: As disruptive as the pandemic was, it wasn’t the only disruptor. Some of the panelists shared that their evolutions before and during the pandemic prepared them for the next hurdle. And in some cases, the IT leaders were ahead of the curve, but they’re not resting on those laurels.
The CIO of an integrated healthcare system said that technological preparedness is key. The CTO of a West Coast university said its technology investments ahead of the pandemic meant it never hiccupped. “I’m moving from on-prem to cloud ridiculously fast,” the CIO said. “We’ve got to move at the speed of business”.
Looking within the company: The CIO for a California university system said the pandemic triggered a reexamination of priorities. “The pandemic caused us to deprioritize things that really weren’t important,” he said. How do we self-motivate to keep the energy and decisions that we’re making?
The CTO and CISO of a financial investment firm said it’s about leading the charge on change. The digital CIO for a commercial property investment firm saw his industry brought to its knees by the pandemic. “Destroying the things we [held] sacred actually has been a good thing,” he said.
The pandemic forced a realization by public and private organizations alike that IT is the glue holding everything together. Organizations that have survived and thrived during the pandemic did so in large part because they met the challenges it created by capitalizing on new opportunities. That realization is now driving the technology investments that will empower them to stay ahead of the competition.
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