Jumar held its first virtual event in its Technology Leaders Roundtable Series last month. The events are designed to give senior technology leaders an opportunity to discuss key challenges, including those presented by COVID-19, with peers from across industries.

The first event focused on the technology response to COVID-19 and the resulting impact on strategy. Here are our key takeaways.

Speed of decision making

The COVID-19 pandemic forced a lot of organisations to make quick decisions in order to mobilise teams to work remotely. Internal projects that might have been in the pipeline for the next 6-12 months were rolled out within a matter of weeks to ensure that teams could work effectively and collaboratively whilst at home.

Some organisations moved away from a consensus-based decision-making structure and have seen clear benefits in this way of working. The question now, is how businesses can continue to make agile decisions quickly and how technology can support this methodology.

What will standard change practices look like going forward?

One attendee spoke about seizing the opportunity to engage with executive boards by demonstrating how decisions can be made quickly. They noted a shift in the mindset of their executive board which has had to make quick decisions over the last three months.

Another attendee highlighted the focus on end users throughout the change process, from the beginning of the lifecycle at optimum design stage, right through to deployment. They saw an appetite within the business to continue embracing the digital workplace of the future that has somewhat been forced upon everyone during the COVID-19 crisis. Organisations can benefit from leveraging this way of working whilst keeping in mind the importance of end users. This enables the current way of working to be sustainable in the long term rather than being seen as a short-term fix for the current situation.

Importance of data and BI

The current situation has led some decision makers to put much greater emphasis on the value of data to support their decision making. As we move into the next stage of the crisis, having systems in place to provide key business information and insightful data that can influence decision making, will be vital – especially as many operations continue to operate remotely.

Changing customer demands

The majority of leaders at the roundtable are focused on changing customer demands and how there is now an emphasis in their businesses on consumer and business requirements in a post-COVID-19 world. Consumer demand has undoubtedly changed as a result of lockdown. The increase in demand for digital channels has prompted organisations to change the way they operate, becoming more digitally focused, to meet that demand.

How will customer demand change going forward? Will we see customers reverting to how they behaved before COVID-19 or will they continue in their new approach? Whilst this question remains unanswered, what is certain is that having robust CRM systems in place to be able to analyse customer data, and to use that to influence decisions, will put the organisation in good stead for the future.

Strategies not changed, just reprioritised

Attendees noted that IT strategies have not necessarily changed, it has simply been a case of reprioritising. Many organisations have proved that they can work in a more agile way and a large number are seeing the benefits of working in this way. Among those on the roundtable there has been a considerable refocus on data and customer insights to improve decision making, as well as an increased focus on automation in order to improve efficiency.

If you would like to join us in our Roundtable Series, please get in touch. Upcoming roundtables will cover topics including RPA, data and cost optimisation.

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