5 ways to accelerate digital business in 2021

Digital business acceleration is the most important trend Gartner sees in the market right now. Here's how CIOs can free up resources to make that possible.

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Gartner research finds that a majority (69%) of boards of directors have accelerated digital business as a response to COVID-19. CEOs, too, are looking to prioritize digital investments going into 2021 as they plan for growth and recovery in a post-pandemic world.

To keep up this pace, IT leaders must be aggressive in taking things off the organization’s to-do list and prioritize freeing up time, attention, and resources in order to achieve digital business acceleration. Here are five ways to do it: 

Remove elements of the pre-COVID-19 strategy that are no longer relevant

A common question our clients asked us during the height of the COVID-19 lockdowns was: When will business get back to normal? Initially, many were operating under the assumption that the pandemic was simply an interruption to normal operations and were keeping their early 2020 strategies on the backburner in the meantime. Instead, enterprise leaders must recognize the reality that key elements of customer and employee behavior have fundamentally shifted in ways that may not align to what was envisioned at the start of last year.

In fact, Gartner's 2021 Board of Directors Survey finds that 48% of board directors expect the enterprise to change its business model as a result of COVID-19, and 57% of enterprises have changed their strategies at least a little because of the pandemic. For their part, CIOs expect that shifts in demand, customer engagement and disruptions to supply chains will continue into 2021. To accommodate these changes, IT leaders should plan to have a new set of strategic business options going into the new year, ditch previous strategies, and plan for multiple scenarios.

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