The pandemic has reshaped consumer behavior and team expectations to the large extent possible globally. All the companies are fighting their ways up and ahead to transform their business on IoT and cloud. The role of CIO and IT heads is not only limited towards bringing Information technology as a change but to behave majorly as “Chief Influencer Officer”.
The ways this pandemic has forced the change and led to digital transformation:
- Rapid change is the next normal: The known CIO says that consumer behavior is shifted quickly in many ways. Sandy Pentland, a professor at the MIT Media Lab, described how optimized automated systems in areas like supply chain management broke down when faced with rapid shifts in both demand and supply — a reality that just about everyone has faced on a personal level.
- Some fast-moving consumer behavior is going to be permanent: No one was making confident predictions about long-term changes stemming from the pandemic. McKinsey said, “digital has been accelerating in just about all categories.” The grocery, food and beverage companies who were hesitant to move their business online, now know better. Cashless transactions are gaining more steam and are going to be permanent that way.
- Forced experiments produced some surprises- good and bad both! Zemmel says that McKinsey’s data shows that B2B remote selling is working: “It’s easier to schedule, more efficient than in-person, [and leads to] faster-buying behavior.” No one expects in-person selling to go away, but it may be a smaller part of the mix than before. Many supply chains are not well understood and underpinned with paper. So people have started looking at technologies like blockchain and IoT.” Prior to this year, there was skepticism in some circles about the value of digitization and digital transformation; Zemmel calls December 2019 “peak cynicism about digitization.” But, he adds, “COVID accelerated the migration to digital.”
- The new role of a CIO is- Chief Influencing Officer: CIOs increasingly reporting to the CEO because they increasingly have a dual mandate. In addition to their historical operational role running the IT department, they now are also customer-facing and driving revenue. That mandate is not new for forward-looking IT organizations, but the pandemic has made other organizations hyper-aware of IT’s role in driving change quickly. CIOs are becoming a sort of “chief influencing officer who is breaking down silos and driving adoption of digital products,”
- The new focus on data and people: However, a lot of the IT leader’s focus right now is on people. Identification of talents — especially retraining and redirecting the existing workforce as needed — as one of the keys to delivering digital transformation. And even the use of data has a human side. While data management is another important element of digital transformation, according to gurus, “it’s often more of an organizational challenge than a technical one.”
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