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Digital transformation: 5 new realities for CIOs

The massive digitalization we’ve seen over the last year will likely be remembered as one of the most enduring hallmarks of the pandemic’s influence on society. Because of this widespread digital transformation, executives – particularly CIOs – are facing a number of new, completely unexpected realities that present a mix of risk and opportunity. And how we handle them will have a huge impact on business success.

Let’s explore five leading examples.

1. Digital acceleration

The first few months of COVID-related lockdown saw companies’ digital communications strategies accelerate by six years – and nearly 80 percent saw increased budget for digital transformation, according to a study by Twilio. IDC projects that IT spending will climb to $6.8 trillion over the next two years. With barriers like competing priorities and slow executive approval now out of the way, CIOs have a tremendous opportunity to execute on the transformation plans that had been stalled for years, including the transition to cloud-based technologies.

As we continue to push forward with the digitalization agenda, it’s opening a world of opportunity – literally – for IT and business operations. Now, geographic boundaries are mostly irrelevant, and from now on, we’ll enjoy the flexibility to place employees wherever they’re needed and give them the freedom to choose where they live and work. Thanks to greater adoption of cloud technologies, there are almost no limitations.

2. Everything from home

We’re not just working from home but also attending school, shopping, and conducting all essential communications without ever walking out the front door. Many jobs that we previously thought were only doable from the job site can now be done remotely. Product development teams now have their living rooms and garages full of parts, equipment, etc., harkening back to the early start-up era for companies like Apple, HP, Microsoft, and others.

Of course, the more we do from home, the more our finite bandwidth resources are taxed. Traditional peak hours for internet usage were in the evening, but with everyone home 24/7, streaming everything simultaneously, the Wi-Fi is straining to remain stable during an employee’s more ideal work hours. We must equip WFH employees with the technology and bandwidth they need to be productive and efficient. Allocate budget to upgrade employees’ home networks to premium bandwidth. Nothing causes more headaches than choppy bandwidth on Zoom when trying to support clients.

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