IT departments around the world over are experiencing a level of disruption like they have never seen before.
If IT teams already had had to deal with disruption during the pre-COVID-19 days, imagine the degree of disruption they have to encounter amid a spike in the number of global COVID-19 cases globally.
Hays’ chief information officer (CIO) Steve Weston opined that IT teams around the world simply have had to rise to the challenges by fulfilling demands placed on them, including introducing new ways of working.
Many businesses have had rely on their IT departments to digitise their supply chains, adopt new customer channels, including e-commerce, e-payment, mobile apps or chatbots, while other businesses have accelerated their artificial intelligence (AI) and automation adoption.
Moving forward, Weston expects IT teams to continue playing an increasingly important role in addressing the ensuing challenges organisations face during the ongoing pandemic.
Here are some of the ways CIOs and their teams are helping businesses prepare for more COVID-related disruption.
Providing solutions to combat collaboration fatigue: To facilitate a hybrid working model which allows staff to visit the office on an ad-hoc basis or coordinate visits with team members, intelligent and integrated solutions will be needed to provide office managers with the ability to adapt their spaces to changing workforce dynamics, while reducing transmission risks.
For CIOs and their IT teams, this may mean installing, maintaining and monitoring a new range of building technologies to optimise their offices. IT teams can also expect to implement a range of cross-platform communication tools to keep digital communications fresh and allow people to use the best platform for their needs and reduce collaboration fatigue even further.
Finding flexibility with the cloud: Cloud-native and microservices-focused e-commerce platforms are providing much needed flexibility by allowing organisations to respond to continued supply chain disruption.
These solutions will help organisations push into new areas during the coming months, helping businesses to maintain the digital momentum built during the initial lockdown.
IT teams and AI will take a more prominent role: Many businesses will be experiencing a decrease in revenue, leading to CIOs having to re-arrange their budgets to prioritise both the customer and employee experience.
Accenture predicts human-AI collaboration is now a requirement to help businesses pivot by taking automation technologies to the next level and using them to not only efficiently execute tasks but also transform business processes.
IT professionals now recognise a different skillset: IT teams are continuing to upskill and train themselves to keep pace with these ever-changing requirements.
Cloud architects and engineers were in the greatest demand at the start of lockdown as businesses and educational institutions worked at breakneck speed to introduce working/learning from home initiatives.
As the pandemic continues, Hays’ global head of technology James Milligan predicts a surge in demand for data security experts, data analysts, data scientists and machine learning experts, as well as change management specialists and agile experts. – Feb 2, 2021