Why now, more than ever, you need to rethink how your workforce manages projects and process

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The nature of work is constantly changing. But it takes an enormous global event – like a pandemic – to create the sort of massive, evolutionary disruption to both the labor market and the nature of work that we have seen in the last year and a half.

History tells us that this sort of global event isn’t over, even when it’s over. It is often a catalyst to a continuum of change. For example, it’s quite possible that Covid-19 has, among other things, triggered an ongoing diaspora from the office, a shift from in-person teamwork to a reliance on online collaboration tools, and a higher demand for CIOs who can enable and direct these changes.

McKinsey estimates that three to four times as many people could be working remotely in the future than before the pandemic. This shift could prompt a massive change in the geography of work, as individuals and companies migrate out of urban centers into suburbs and smaller cities.

The CIO role has already morphed amid this growing reliance on technology for all aspects of work. In the past year, CIOs have stepped beyond their traditional role as technology leaders into crisis leaders, equipped with the skills and know-how to show other business units how to survive and thrive using technology. Like the shift to remote work the pandemic triggered, this CIO transformation will persist.

When reinvention becomes the norm

“It’s about continuously adding value to your company and using technology to reinvent and bring the company forward,” Rich Gilbert, chief digital information officer at Aflac, said in the 2021 State of the CIO report.

Are you ready to lead your organization into the future of work? At a tactical level, this involves deploying the right tools to improve business processes without putting more pressure on already strained IT resources, and making sure that IT systems are ready for an extended remote or hybrid work environment.

“The shift to mass remote work will likely expose how much work across the enterprise has been stitched together based on assumptions, tradition, conversations, meetings and siloed tools giving very imperfect information,” says Chris Marsh in a report from 451 Research. “As well as reliance on rigid business systems, email, and pure-play collaboration apps absent impactful workflows.”

Quick fixes that were deployed in the early days of the pandemic may need revisiting if people ultimately don’t come back to the office fully, as the data suggests. One recent study found that half of businesses think their existing technology does not do enough to help teams collaborate, and an even larger group says they don’t have the tools to create workflows or design projects.

“Companies assume that their quick fixes will scale,” writes Mark Mader, CEO of Smartsheet, in a blog post. “But not many are looking at the changing fabric of work and what they need to do to drive their organizations toward success. Organizations prepared to win in this new world of work are more likely to be tech early adopters who were already executing on their digital transformation strategies.”

Now, more than ever, is the time to take a hard look at the tools you are using to unlock your data, empower your workforce to build and adopt project management solutions, and get your tech stack out of silos that hold back productivity.

Learn more about Smartsheet, the enterprise-grade work management platform that aligns global teams, empowers users to build and scale business-driven solutions, and enables IT to manage risk and maintain compliance.

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Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.