Blueprint for CIOs: Anticipating the Post COVID normal


By Fahim Khan, VP – Cloud Transformation Solutions, Brillio

As the ramifications of the pandemic ripple through the world, technology is key for businesses looking to respond effectively and decisively. Technology leaders have an opportunity to help lead their enterprises through unchartered waters, devising and executing strategies that are essential to delivering a thoughtful response, keeping people safe and productive, and creating a resilient organization. It will be a brave new reopening — notably different and rapidly changing one — that the CIOs of most organisations will have to quickly and effectively adapt to in order to ensure the survival, renewal, and regrowth of their organisations. It is a unique opportunity for CIOs to be innovative while playing a vital role throughout this transition. The strategic trajectories have been substantially altered, the digital transformation plans for 2020 have largely require thorough review and rethinking. CIOs must prioritize their organisation’s activities in the following buckets:

Restart the business
As reopening of business would be leaning towards virtual than physical steps, companies need to set their workspace environment accordingly. A company can improve and save costs by rationalizing all temporary environments and processes by customizing the interim measures handling business-critical operating model. This can include Virtual desktops and DaaS capabilities deployed to enable remote workforce. In the new working model, it becomes essential for organization to streamline and finalize their virtual agile working model, if they have been successful with distribution of work between on-shore, near-shore an offshore along with the tools that enabled this distribution of work. Finally, redoing the new external ecosystem wherein a CIO addresses the gaps of supply chain segment and external vendors by relooking at alternatives supporting the new working conditions.

Rationalize current and future spends
With unstable markets, CIOs should consider rationalising ongoing cost of their organisations. To obtain a spending balance, organisations must adopt virtual agile working model wherein redeploying remote workforce to attain maximum productivity allowing relief of immediate IT cost pressures. Secondly, CIOs must be flexible and open to move to hybrid cloud or multi-cloud solutions aiming to remodel future IT spend distribution. Also, automation of all run operations will be the key factor to rationalise ongoing costs. CIO organisation must maximise use of native features and capabilities of their cloud(s)so that they are not drawn into long term automation projects. Other than the native cloud capabilities to enable automation CIOs organisation must investigate enabling self-healing and RPA supported by AIOps.

Enable new areas of focus
Many organisations will use the crisis to innovate and evolve their ways of working as well as modernize their technology. It is imperative for CIOs to redefine their application strategy. Adoption of microservices, containers, APIs and SaaS delivery model must be a priority. Working closely with business, CIOs organisation should help expose internal services and capabilities to their consumers so they can innovate and build new products in offerings on top of them that in turn will increase consumption of their corporate’s services.

Secondly, CIOs should rearchitect the data strategy and work on harmonising data through enabling advanced analytics, AI, and ML for enabling robust business growth. It is also crucial to reimagine the new mobility environment revolving around Bring your own device (BYOD) and multiple platforms that will facilitate end-users and customers to interact using a completely new interface and user experience. Microservices, AI, and analytics should lead an efficient and improved user interaction.

Operate in the new norm
CIOs must not bog down their organisation with day-to-day tactical work in the new norm and relook at functions as a business capability enabler. This would require a very strong organization change management (OCM) drive so that the daily adhoc work is performed by end users using the self-service capabilities enabled by CIOs organisation. The key to success would be making AI and ML core of all interactions and functions in the new norm. These include intelligent supply chain, chatbots for both IT services and customer service, and self-healing operations. Optimizing spend by accelerating the adoption of the OPEX model and reducing all CAPEX activity will be imperative. Rationalising tools and IT services portfolio and automation of all “IT Run and Maintain” activities will help define the new norm within the budgets.

In present times, CIOs must prioritise migrating to hybrid cloud, rethink the distribution of resources according to the productivity in the new virtual agile model, make the application and data environments more efficient and use AI and Emil to support automation in operations and services. CIO must lead a clear strategy for rebounding from the crisis is paramount, with both technology and people at the vanguard.


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