Nearly a year has passed since the unplanned arrival of COVID-19 affecting business operations and forcing us to rethink the workplace. As leaders, managers, and employees adapted, companies moved from urgency in the first few months to a new form of “business as usual.” While we are not quite out of the woods, progress has been made. IT leaders are now able to step back and consider what worked, what didn’t, and how infrastructures and processes may look once the pandemic is in the rearview mirror.
In an effort to strategize and plan for the future, we sat down with a group of CIOs and senior IT leaders, as part of our CIO Community roundtable series, to discuss post-pandemic IT strategies. Host Mark Ardito was joined by James Watters, CTO of VMware’s modern application platform, alongside this group of technology executives to look back on the impacts of the pandemic and look forward to a future beyond it.
Acceleration was a recurring theme in the discussion. While all participants shared that they were already engaged in digital transformation before the pandemic hit, many had to act quickly to support a sudden need for remote work. And those who moved fast credited the successful acceleration of output to their teams in all IT areas.
COVID-related requirements pushed the timeline on technology projects; forward-looking initiatives have moved out of R&D and into implementation. The time horizons for key projects were significantly shortened to provide urgently-needed capabilities. In terms of IT operations, executives saw faster iteration cycles to respond to immediate needs. An example was cited in the financial sector, where technology projects have traditionally taken six or more months. In the COVID environment, many banks were able to launch websites for PPP loan programs in less than two weeks.