December’s year-end juxtaposition offers as much time to reflect upon the past as promise for the future.
And while 2020 was a staggering year for the history books as the pandemic crippled traditional business and social practices around the world, the global health crisis provided information technology professionals an ultimate test of mettle with real-time lessons learned with new-found visibility in expanded leadership roles as they deftly kept organizations afloat and in many cases growing through rapid digital transformation deployments.
“During the coronavirus pandemic, CIOs gained political capital by fortifying business operations and digitizing services in accordance with social distancing decrees,” CIO.com senior writer Clint Boulton reports in his December 2, 2020 feature CIOs strive to build on IT’s business cred for 2021. “From accelerated migrations to new collaboration tools to implementing contactless services, IT leaders reprioritized roadmaps to empower employees and serve customers.”
Boulton’s enterprise piece further explores expanding and influential leadership roles of CIOs in organizational hierarchy. With COVID-19 protocols continuing into the new year, here are suggestions from experts who’ve directed successful digital transformation deployments of their own this year:
- CIOs should huddle with their CFO. Don’t fool yourself: The surge in CAPEX and OPEX you’ve been gifted to keep your business humming will be unsustainable in 2021, says Steve Bates, principal of KPMG’s CIO advisory practice. Work directly with your CFO on building strong business cases for how to scale adoption of critical tech, including SaaS, multi-cloud, low code, and automation solutions , while retiring legacy technical debt.
- Deepen business process expertise. Take the time to be the consultant to the business, which requires learning your constituents’ processes inside and out, says Gartner’s Andy Rowsell-Jones, a Distinguished Analyst on the company’s Executive Leadership Research team. This will help spark ideas for digital enablement and new digital channels.
- Bias toward customer growth. On that score, CIOs must prioritize investments on “anything that moves the needle for retaining or growing customers,” over cost efficiency plays, Bates says. Pick projects — a new mobile app or digital channel — that will help boost sales or profitability.
Vendorship’s own CEO, Nazeera Dawood, shares her lessons from 2020:
“With regards to Vendorship, I always thought having a showy office suite was required for good client relationships but the pandemic taught us that the quality of our service rather than the space we operate out of is more important. We are allocating resources to more client-focused operational activities. A strong team is what carries a company through the good and the tough times. Team building is crucial, we now even check in on each other outside normal office hours, develop leaders within the team, give ownership for continual improvement and build a healthy foundation for sustained growth.
In the government contracting market, We learned that the need for technology innovation increased drastically during the pandemic as government agencies became aware of outdated operations. We are going to see an increase in adoption of digital transformation – at an increased speed.
Personally, the pandemic has taught me to be more patient. Things will happen when the time is right. It’s important to maintain positivity and surround yourself with people who share your mission and vision.”
What did you learn in 2020? How has the pandemic changed you / your company? What are you grateful to have learned and will carry into 2021?
Join your Vendorship Inc. team Wednesday December 16 at 3 p.m. EST as we host our next live webinar, ‘From Purpose to Results: Looking Back on 2020’, where we’ll explore this topic with experts of our own.
Click the button below to register for this no cost event.