CIOs Executing on the New Normal for a Stronger 2021 & Beyond

By David Degitz June 11, 2020
new normal virtual business meeting

Amidst all the uncertainty and devastation of the past few months, there has also been a lot of collaboration and community. I have been privileged to witness firsthand the incredible sharing happening between the 100+ clients that ivision serves. These CIOs and technology leaders in the ivision ecosystem have been openly sharing best practices, lessons learned, and reopening strategies. They are approaching the new normal in a smart, intelligent way that keeps their people healthy and focuses their teams on the future.

During this very difficult time, it is inspiring to hear this community of CIOs offer guidance with each other on how IT can drive initiatives to support their respective businesses to become stronger out of the pandemic. They have also given guidance to us at ivision that has further focused our solutions and offerings. We see our client relationships as true partnerships for exactly this reason – because we learn from them as much as they do from us.

Our clients, even the ones who are in industries less affected by the financial impacts of coronavirus, are balancing challenging situations. Many of them have adjusted and strategized to find new ways to do business and are continuing to improve after having to shut down parts of their operations. Everyone is making sure that IT is supporting the business strategy and aligning with the needs of the new normal.

In the Spotlight – Positively!

Us veterans in the IT industry know that the C-Suite generally talk about IT when there is a problem or things aren’t working well to support the business. This pandemic has provided significant positive exposure to IT teams across the globe as they empowered companies to work remotely and from home.  In almost all cases we have surveyed, IT teams have delivered above the C-Suite’s expectations during this pandemic. Companies that previously had an in-office culture have made the transition to working from home and have found exponentially high productivity.  

Unprecedented focus

A common feedback thread is that amidst all the stress, there has been unprecedented focus during this time. Technology teams have accomplished incredible feats and provided tremendous business value. They ensured that technology services pivoted to support and drive business activity for revenue and operating execution.        

Executing during the pandemic

There have been some great initiatives happening with our clients. In April, we began hosting a series of webinars highlighting how IT is continuing to move the business forward during this time. Several of our partners have joined us to discuss topics like transitioning to a remote workforce, resiliency, IT optimization, security, digital transformation, and more. 

The first webinar in the series (see: Republic National Distributing Company) featured IT leadership from RNDC, a multi-billion-dollar wholesale beverage distributor. Darrell Riekena, CIO; Tracy Ariail, SVP; and John Dickson, VP, discussed digital transformation and the eRNDC public cloud technology, a transformative platform that had a greatly accelerated roadmap for implementation and roll-out due to COVID. Being cloud-first enabled RNDC to scale and pivot quickly, and the features in this platform allowed them to fulfill e-commerce business demands that exploded during the pandemic.

Lee Crump, CIO, and Kevin Morrison, VP of IT & CISO, joined us for a webinar on how Rollins is leveraging IT to serve their business right now (see: Rollins). As a global holding company for commercial and consumer services, the business was impacted by decreased demand. However, Rollins has been able to thrive in the consumer services sector, and even created an entirely new service offering. Through all of this, they share how SD-WAN is changing the way Rollins delivers IT services – and how IT optimization is saving the organization millions of dollars.

Interim CIO Dolores Mears discussed how IT is a critical business partner at CRH Americas Materials. As the largest manufacturer of building materials in North America, CRH has relied on the IT department through COVID for resiliency and business continuity through remote worker support, digital transformation as well as security. Investments in digitization and automation have paid dividends for the company during this time (see: CRH Americas Materials).

IT moves the business forward

While so much has changed, one thing remains the same: IT continues to power the business. In our most recent Pulse video interview, Jay Ferro shared his advice for fellow CIOs. As he said, “If you’ve done your homework and did what you were supposed to do, IT has had an opportunity – and has a real opportunity – to shine.” IT has become front-and-center for companies, and CIOs are leading the charge. I’m proud to work closely with so many exceptional ones in Georgia and across the Southeast. For many business leaders, the past few months have been a whirlwind of navigating stress and uncertainty, but I am confident that there has never been a more rewarding time to lead technology.