Irish businesses to weigh in on the state of digital transformation

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Credit: Florian Olivo / Nathan Dumlao / Modified by IDG

Survey to assess momentum of change in Irish organisations

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21 August 2020 | 0

Since the introduction of lockdown measures last March, Irish industry has been forced into a process of digitisation that has thrown most project timelines out the window. From back office staff to broadcasters, the centre of productivity has moved from the controlled environment of the cubicle or open plan office to the home office or even the kitchen table. Employees may be happy with the short-term benefits but what happens when employees get tired of using personal laptops, family-use software and inadequate broadband for eight hours a day?

As a second national Covid-19 lockdown becomes likely it’s tempting to pause digital transformation strategies but there is broad agreement among experts and CIOs that now is the time to accelerate efforts to put the right tools in the right hands now to ensure competitive advantage after the pandemic passes.

Today, with 80% of revenue growth hinging on digital offerings and operations by 2022, IT leaders should continue transforming their operating models, according to KPMG research. Steve Bates, global leader of KPMG’s CIO centre of excellence, argues that companies that continue to invest in their digital strategy, while balancing short-term efforts with long-term measures, will emerge from this pandemic more competitive. Sound models that incorporate the best people, processes and technologies remain critical in good times and bad.

 

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“All roads lead back to the IT operating model,” Bates says. “There is going to be pent-up demand and when this period ends there is going to be a tidal wave of spending and you want to be in position to take advantage of it.” In short, now is not the time to turn the spigot off to significant tech initiatives.

While digital innovation is important, boosting business resiliency should also be part of every business transformation. CIOs should speak with senior managers to improve resiliency in a way that aligns with corporate objectives, says David Gregory, a Gartner analyst who focuses on risk and security management. It starts with enabling critical activities the organization requires to keep moving forward – bandwidth, VPN access, and so on – in the near term. Long-term resiliency includes optimising service delivery while reducing threats and vulnerabilities – cyber, natural disasters, pandemics and otherwise – to the business.

“You have to reduce the likelihood of failure and should you fail, you need IT people thinking more carefully on service delivery” as part of business continuity planning, Gregory says. Ideally, business continuity will evolve and be exercised more as a strategic rather than simply an operational discipline. In such a scenario, departments are communicating and working in concert rather than in siloes.

Such measures, most of which are linchpins of ongoing digital transformations, will leave companies well positioned for the new normal. “This will come to an end and a lot of companies will leave a massive amount of money parked on the sidelines,” Bates says. “Organisations who double down on the most important advancements to allow them to emerge more competitive are going to win.”

Has your business upskilled, downsized or stayed the course during the Covid-19 pandemic? Should more resources be put in to the software, hardware and connectivity needed to make staff productive from home or is a return to fully featured and regulated environments the most powerful sign of adaptation to the ‘new normal’?

TechBeat, in association with Expleo, is asking Irish organisations how they have been managing their digital transformation journeys since last March’s lockdown, and what technologies are considered pivotal to gaining a competitive edge.

To share your thoughts and enter a competition for an Apple Watch visit techpro.ie/survey.

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