A CIO's checklist for executing the COVID pivot

Simultaneously adjusting to new realities and developing forward-looking plans is near-impossible. This checklist will help you focus your efforts.

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In a previous blog post, I discussed the less evident short-term impact of COVID-19 on your digital transformation programs, but there are so many longer-term implications.  Will the current economic crisis have an impact beyond 2020?  I believe the answer is yes, and it could be significant.

To understand the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the IT market, one needs to look no further than the systemic shock of the virus.  It has changed economies, social systems, and consumer behaviors and disrupted supply chains.  COVID-19 has become a shock for every company around the world.  All of these forces colliding at the same time will materially change the way we do business, a shock that will extend well beyond 2020.  

One thing that is clear is that pandemics like COVID-19 can and will happen again.  While the world appears to have been caught by surprise, corporate boards and government regulators will likely now view pandemics as inevitable, putting CEOs and CIOs on notice to be prepared.  Much like Y2K could be clearly seen on the horizon, boards will now have a vivid image to recall of the havoc a pandemic can wreak and the long-term damage it can cause.   And while CEOs and CIOs will see this as a call to action, IT vendors (those that survive the short-term) are likely to view this systemic shock as an opportunity to develop new revenue streams not previously accessible.  I will refer to this systemic inflection point as the “COVID pivot.”

The COVID pivot agenda

As enterprises gain control and recover from the immediate short-term effects of COVID-19, CEOs will be pushed to establish a comprehensive agenda to mitigate the risks of future pandemics and adapt to the new realities of the world.

I expect these four stipulations to be on every CEO’s COVID pivot agenda:

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