7 IT silver linings of the pandemic

Beyond just keeping business afloat, companies and IT leaders are finding unexpected benefits to COVID’s business disruptions.

Mihail Strusievici has been building business agility into Colliers International for the past four years — upgrading its tools, platforms and frameworks to deliver IT quickly, a big change for what traditionally had been the slowest part of corporate IT. So when the coronavirus pandemic hit in early spring, and the entire organization had to shift to Microsoft Teams for remote work and adopt new business processes, he wasn’t surprised by his team’s ability to pivot quickly.

“That’s an overnight success that was four years in the making,” says Strusievici, global vice president of IT. “We are capitalizing on good investments and good decisions we made before COVID-19.”

For many companies, business preparation has collided with opportunity brought on by the pandemic. Some CIOs call themselves lucky. Others call it planning for a digital future that happened to become reality in three months rather than three years — validation for years of pushing digital transformation, building business agility, beefing up security, adding collaboration tools and adopting flexible work policies.

Almost one third (30%) of IT leaders say the sudden business pivot affirmed their organization’s agility and flexibility, according to an IDG survey of 373 IT leaders in July to assess how the coronavirus pandemic has affected IT leaders’ roles and priorities.

But even with all the planning, some better-than-expected results have emerged from many organizations’ responses to the pandemic. IT leaders report that business changes caused by the pandemic have prompted them to focus more on driving business innovation, developing new go-to-market strategies and cultivating IT/business partnerships, according to the IDG survey. IT leaders also feel that their organizations have improved communication, are collaborating better, and are now using more efficient processes. Work-from-home strategies have also proven at least as productive as working from the office, for now.

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