Why your COVID recovery strategy should put people first

While security, business continuity, and operational efficiencies may top an IT leader's list of responsibilities, people and team dynamics may ultimately be the strongest or weakest links in a pandemic recovery game plan.

A laptop user wears a face mask and gloves in a post-COVID office workspace.
Fizkes / Getty Images

As companies make plans to gradually shift from nearly a 100% work-from-home environment to a hybrid workforce consisting of a percentage of people working within a highly modified office environment and a larger number continuing to work from home for the foreseeable future, IT departments will be called upon to provide technology support for this structure.

To effectively do this, IT must maintain productivity levels among their teams, improve existing infrastructures to make them more resilient, and continue to drive digital transformation — even though IT staffing may be reduced and technology budgets cut. IT leaders and staff may also be asked to sharpen their non-technical skills in communication and collaboration as they interact with peers on the business side to focus more on products and revenue-generating initiatives.

In this CIO Executive Council Point of View, Shannon Gath, CIO at AMAG Pharmaceuticals, outlines some of the challenges she faces as she continues to drive transformational change and deliver business value as part of the company's COVID efforts.

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COVID's impact on workforce and culture

We have talked for years about the importance of business relationship management skills and functions that have really helped us grow and mature as CIOs. However, COVID presents an opportunity for CIOs to really show how well we understand the business and demonstrate how capable we are of leading cross-functional enterprise-wide change initiatives.

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