Business and IT alignment has probably never been more important than it is right now. Due to disruption from the pandemic, IT teams are having to figure out how to find the right balance between business continuity and digital innovation.
The COVID-19 crisis is also forcing chief technology officers (CTOs) and their teams to lead through the disruption by rapidly adapting processes and protocols for effective remote work scenarios, enabling business continuity through unplanned demand, and mitigating new security risks and threats.
As parts of the world are now recovering from the crisis, CTOs are solidifying their lessons learned while starting to revitalize digital innovation efforts. Ivan Ng, CTO at City Developments Limited (CDL), a global real estate firm headquartered in Singapore, shares his best practices for successfully navigating this next phase in this Q&A.
Read on for Ivan's advice on ensuring continuity as well as helping the company become more agile and responsive—which will only pay dividends as the focus turns more towards innovation in the future.
How can companies quickly adapt their business to keep up with evolving needs and how can technology help?
Due to the pandemic, every business has been experiencing rapid and massive changes, so adaptability is an almost existential capability for all companies.
The ability to adapt can be attributed to three areas: understanding the early signs of changing needs, managing an agile ecosystem to deliver those changes, and adjusting business models to rapidly commercialize and capture value. This is where technology can be a strategic enabler. We live in a world where data is universally prevalent, but making sense of the data requires sharp business acumen and deep technology expertise to extract insights on changing needs for business products or services.
Technology also enables supply chains to seamlessly connect across organizations to deliver what the customer needs. Lastly, technology provides a whole arsenal of tools to calibrate business models through analytics, as well as facilitate customer experience journeys.
Why is there a need for IT to deliver remote services and what does IT need to consider in supporting remote work?
Traditionally, IT was about providing services on-site. Now, IT is so interwoven into key business processes that the requirements on IT should be the same as for the rest of the business. For many companies, the expectation for IT services is to be available anytime, anywhere. The pandemic crisis has clearly demonstrated why onsite-only IT services are insufficient for the modern enterprise.
To effectively support remote work, CTOs need to look beyond the technology and recognize that remote work is truly different. Amidst the crisis, many organizations have discovered that even with prior business continuity planning and new digital tools, nothing could have prepared us for such significant disruption. IT can better prepare by investing in enterprise solutions that center on technology, data, security, and cloud computing.