By Rick Perret, Head of Customer Success Marketing and Client Voice, Mainframe Software Division, part of Broadcom Software\n\nOperating in today\u2019s global economy is fraught with uncertainty. Whether it\u2019s competitive, political, an uncontrollable global pandemic, or any number of other dynamics, these days you have to expect the unexpected - and be ready to respond. Some organizations have seen new areas of opportunity, while others are hanging on for dear life.\u00a0\u00a0 Businesses have undergone many changes over the last year, but in many respects, the onslaught of COVID-19 has accelerated trends that have been present for several years now.\nI spent some time recently with Ray Wang, Founder and Principal Researcher at Constellation Research, to understand how executives are making decisions around key business and technology priorities given our new reality.\u00a0\u00a0 Ray also prepared a Post Pandemic\u00a0Playbook\u00a0of best practices for organizations outlining how to prepare for the unpredictable and the strategic advantages a mainframe platform can provide.\nRick:\u00a0 Ray, you\u2019ve spoken to many C-level executives recently, what is the tone of their concerns?\nRay:\u00a0 I\u2019ve gotten questions from hundreds of CxO\u2019s over the months.\u00a0 They\u2019re focused of course on a unified response that can address their employees, customers and ecosystem partners.\u00a0 In many respects this has catalyzed their view of risk management across different classes of risk, you know financial, information technology, supply chain and the like.\u00a0 Like many of us, this is a new \u201cgame\u201d without a pre-existing playbook to work from.\u00a0 Like any major event, taking stock of what can help and hurt you is paramount to reacting properly.\nRick:\u00a0 So is it time to hunker down?\nRay:\u00a0 Not at all.\u00a0 COVID has accelerated initiatives that have been on the books for a while.\u00a0 In fact, a recent survey in Fortune magazine reported that 63% of CEO\u2019s were accelerating their transformation initiatives.\nRick:\u00a0 Great.\u00a0 But, when you think of what\u2019s needed to transform, it\u2019s easy to overlook some fundamental things you take for granted.\u00a0 You know, like a football team undergoing changes - the big focus is on the QB or RB - while the utility players get overlooked.\nRay:\u00a0 Absolutely.\u00a0 Using IT as an example, let\u2019s take the mainframe.\u00a0\u00a0 It is at the heart of every transaction and interaction you have with your customer, your partners, everyone really.\u00a0 It\u2019s something you counted on for many years and it continues to deliver.\u00a0 Yet it is often part of the core capabilities you need to deliver value to your end customers.\u00a0 And during times like this, focusing on value you provide, and reliably delivering that value matters a lot.\u00a0\u00a0 Of course, there are other examples of resources within an organization with similar degrees of durability and predictability.\nRick:\u00a0 It sounds like we\u2019re designing, building and flying the airplane now.\u00a0 How do we even start to think about addressing this challenge?\nRay:\u00a0\u00a0 At Constellation we have something called PESTEL.\u00a0 It\u2019s a method and framework to think through these problems. \u00a0PESTEL helps to define specific problems and actions.\u00a0 A great case in point is the dominant\u00a0work-from-home model\u00a0that we\u2019re seeing today.\u00a0\u00a0 There is a balance between people\u2019s health and an organization\u2019s ability to execute.\u00a0 And it\u2019s forcing companies today to make decisions such as offering the option for employees to permanently work remotely.\u00a0 At the same time, companies are exploring new technologies that can address concerns such as work productivity, culture, and employee engagement.\u00a0\nIn total,\u00a0 we\u2019ve identified some 27 specific factors that need to be addressed.\u00a0\u00a0 Many of these are quite relevant when looking at the potential impact to your mainframe investment.\u00a0 Factors such as the movement to open source, concerns with cybersecurity,\u00a0hybrid cloud architectures, governance and compliance issues impacting privacy - are all impacting the mainframe today.\u00a0\u00a0 The good news is that there has been a lot of innovation in the area of mainframe computing to address these factors.\nRick:\u00a0 That\u2019s a lot of ground to cover.\u00a0 I thought planning was dead.\u00a0 Long live agile!\nRay:\u00a0 You know, the days of 5-10 year plans sitting on the shelf gathering dust are past us. It really boils down to having a plan, yet building ways to make that plan more flexible over time. Some of it is how you design and build the plan itself, and sometimes it\u2019s an organizational or cultural aspect that requires change.\u00a0 We identified 10 best practices that you need to follow.\u00a0 It\u2019s all in the Playbook we created.\nRick:\u00a0 Ray thanks so much for joining me today.\u00a0\nFor more information, watch this\u00a05-minute video\u00a0or access the\u00a0playbook here.\nTo learn more about Broadcom Software, please go here.\n\nAbout Rick Perret:\n\nRick spends his career at the intersection of technology and business outcomes. A marketing strategist at heart, he\u2019s done both strategy and go-to-market execution, including the deployment of Agile methods to develop and execute go-to-market campaigns. Beyond marketing, Rick has experience doing early-stage technology commercialization in areas such as bioinformatics, high-performance computing, and advanced analytics. At Broadcom, he leads the Divisions AR and Client Voice Programs for the Mainframe Software Division. Prior to Broadcom, he led teams at IBM focusing on the marketing of Analytics, Big Data, and Cloud solutions. While at IBM, he also served in market and business development roles at the IBM TJ Watson Research Center. He is co-author of a patent in the area of Supply Chain Risk Management. Rick holds an MBA from the Kelly Graduate School of Business at Indiana University, an undergraduate degree from the University of Buffalo, and corporate training in intrapreneurship at Babson College.