Covid 19: What CIOs and business leaders are thinking about their new operating model

The US was experiencing one of the best economies.  A time with record low unemployment and many companies reporting strong earnings.  Just then, we got hit by the Covid-19 and before we even realized, everything changed around us.

How we conducted business has changed, perhaps forever.  Many business leaders are already thinking of a new model that is more agile, collaborative and built on trust.  Business resilience will be at the heart of every plan, as we rebuild our business models.

Here are some key focus areas that we expect to be at the centerstage of strategies going forward:

  • We’ll experience a much higher acceptance to remote working.  Organizations will build their culture and systems to support remote working as a new normal.  Businesses will also see this as an opportunity to reduce their facilities and administration costs.
  • The need for enhanced security will be at a new high to support work from anywhere model. 
  • We expect to see a greater rush to go digital, especially adoption of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics and IOT.  Businesses will ask CIOs to find innovative solutions that can reduce human intervention on processing business tasks and are flexible enough to switch between on-site and remote operations in a really short period.  Industries such as manufacturing will see greater acceptance to cognitive technologies such as AI and IOT.
  • There will be a greater acceptance of collaboration tools to allow seamless screen time, file sharing, real-time planning, dashboarding, training and decision making.
  • We expect IT teams to move more of their systems on Cloud for simpler management and faster reaction to uncertain situations.
  • UX (User Experience) will supersede UI (User Interface).  We expect more tech touchpoints within the org and with clients and suppliers to accomplish as much as possible through technology, limiting a need to travel and also frequent in-person meetings, at least in the short term.
  • Business leaders will become more critical and demanding from their Business Continuity Planning (BCP) teams.  There may be new governance structures put in place that are leaner.  Task teams may be formed with authority to take quick decisions.
  • Non-essential travel may become a thing of the past for a long time ahead.  Businesses will realize that they can actually use video conferencing and collaboration tools to achieve a lot more.
  • People performance measures may also see a shift that is based on outcomes.  While this has always been talked about, the implementation may be more effective now.

We expect technology to be at the core of almost every change in the post Covid-19 era.  Investment in technologies that are critical to the change will continue to increase and there will be more demand for skills that can deliver this change in a short period of time. 

Staffing may also see a greater shift towards project focused contract professionals with specialized skill to help delivery specific projects.