Gartner recommendations for CIOs to handle coronavirus impact

CIOs should focus on three short-term actions to increase their organizations’ resilience against disruptions in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), according to Gartner.
digital strategy for CIOsSandy Shen, senior research director at Gartner, said: “When traditional channels and operations are impacted by the outbreak, the value of digital channels, products and operations becomes immediately obvious. This is a wake-up call to organizations that focus on daily operational needs at the expense of investing in digital business and long-term resilience.”

Gartner recommendations for CIOs

CIOs need to work out interim solutions, including identifying use case requirements such as instant messaging for general communication, file sharing/meeting solutions, and access to enterprise applications such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM), while reviewing all security arrangements to ensure secure access to applications and data.

Organizations need to deal with staffing shortages to maintain basic operations. CIOs can work with business leaders to conduct workforce planning to assess risks and address staffing gaps, such as identifying mission-critical service areas. CIOs can see how digital technologies such as AI can be used to automate tasks, for example, candidate screening and customer service.

Many organizations already engage customers over digital platforms, such as branded sites and apps, online marketplaces and social media. But offline face-to-face engagement still plays a big role. Workplace collaboration, video conferencing and livestreaming solutions can serve various customer engagement and selling scenarios. Organizations should also enable customers to use self-service via online, mobile, social, kiosk and interactive voice response (IVR) channels.

Confusing data from unverified sources or the lack of data can lead to ill-informed decisions being made, escalating employee anxiety and making organizations underprepared for returning to normal operations. Organizations can leverage data to support better decision making and communicate progress more efficiently to employees.

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