Rethinking IT strategy post-COVID-19

After a herculean effort to enable remote work at scale, IT organizations are ramping up innovation efforts to address the challenges and create new opportunities for doing business in a post-pandemic world.

Rethinking IT strategy post-COVID-19
Demitrii Guzhanin / Getty Images

When the COVID-19 crisis bore down in mid-March, Avery Dennison’s IT department did what most shops did to prepare for working during the pandemic — they fortified networks, amped up bandwidth, and rolled out a regular cavalry of collaborative tools to enable a near-instantaneous shift to remote work.

Once resiliency of core systems was established, the Avery Dennison IT team veered off in a different direction. Recognizing the business world was facing a new normal, the IT department rolled up its sleeves to find ways technology could enable new ways of working, both internally and with customers and its supply chain during and after the pandemic. A flurry of brainstorming sessions sparked dozens of ideas and set a variety of projects in motion, including the deployment of virtual assistants to deliver 24/7 customer service, track and trace capabilities for monitoring the status of goods throughout the supply chain, and early efforts to bolster the now work-from-home sales team with virtual trade shows.

While the department was initially lauded for its quick efforts in getting employees working seamlessly from home, IT is now being sought out as a key innovation resource to help Avery Dennison chart a new course in the post-COVID era.

“We’re getting a lot of kudos for our flawless execution of networking services, but we really want to be remembered for what we did to create value outside of our services during this time,” says Nicholas Colisto, vice president and CIO at the global manufacturer of labeling and functional materials. “We’re certainly reducing spending, but not at the expense of innovation.”

Seizing the moment

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