There’s next to nothing in the world that hasn’t been impacted by COVID-19. We’ve now reached the stage of the pandemic where we’re evaluating the effect on every part of our lives. Over the last few weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time speaking with IT leaders and reflecting on how the business technology landscape has been shifting.
As we battle both a pandemic and an economic slowdown, CIOs aren’t putting everything on hold, but they are quickly and continually re-evaluating which projects get postponed and which ones to pursue now. The results of a recent LinkedIn poll that we conducted indicate that 48% of immediate IT projects have been paused while 20% have been accelerated. Not surprisingly, the projects that have been accelerated aren't necessarily those that were on the priority list at the beginning of the year.
Global organizations have seen their business processes turned upside down with tectonic shifts towards digital channels. Consequently, some IT projects that were originally being considered in the next two to three years are now being pushed through over the next few months. Those that deliver IT agility, improved digital experiences, infrastructure resilience, efficiency, and cost reduction are making the cut.
CIOs are also focused quite literally on keeping the lights on in our new paradigm. Budgets are understandably tight due to decreasing sales pipelines and there is considerable pressure on IT to 'do more with less.' Meanwhile employees are working from home and relying more on digital services and applications, which has them raising more support requests. While WFH was nothing new, very few companies were equipped to accommodate such a vast shift to a remote workforce in such a short time period.
Our customers are increasingly looking towards automation and AIOps technologies to alleviate some of these pressures, providing relief to overburdened IT teams and accommodating a shifting (and oftentimes) reduced workforce. Almost immediately, IT automation can be implemented to handle common service desk issues to reduce loads on support staff, including powering ChatOps and self-service options. It can also enforce best practices that help mitigate security gaps introduced unwittingly by a remote workforce.
Additionally, automation ensures that tribal knowledge is encoded into automated processes, safeguarding against fluctuations in the workforce, reducing reliance on individual subject matter experts, and ensuring that incident response, tasks, and requests can be left-shifted or agilely reassigned. And, of course, automation radically improves overall IT efficiency as more processes are automated, as well as improving the resiliency and performance of critical infrastructure by preventing issues and accelerating MTTR.
In a post-COVID world, digital transformation will be more important than ever. The pandemic has already fundamentally changed aspects of how businesses function and work gets done – not to mention changes in our education systems, how we socialize and travel, and beyond. There will be more employees who permanently work from home. There will be more flexibility in terms of where offices exist, opening up options outside expensive urban centers. And, there will be a recovery period as we come out of the financial downturn.
Digital transformation will be required to support new kinds of workforces, and in some cases, diminished ones, in order for businesses to survive and thrive. Those businesses that leverage technology strategically will be the ones that win in the turns and emerge with processes and infrastructure that are more robust and resilient than ever before. We welcome the opportunity to aid in these efforts and seeing how IT teams creatively leverage automation and AIOps to rebuild for the future.