Jay Ferro, CIO, Shares Lessons Learned From COVID-19

IT during COVID

Jay Ferro is a Chief Information Officer and prominent figure in the Georgia technology community. Even through all the changes forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, many things have stayed the same for CIOs, says Ferro. It is all about how to do more with less, and do it faster, while continuing to deliver value for your customers and your company. There will always be more demand than supply for every IT department, and that is even more true right now.

Due to the global work-from-home migration, IT has become front-and-center for companies. As Ferro says, “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.” CIOs are at the forefront of business operations right now, not just in terms of business continuity, but in taking advantage of market opportunities that arise because of this.

One of the benefits to working with a trusted partner is that you can leverage their professionalism and knowledge immediately to help quickly execute plans. IT departments are thrown a lot of different demands and don’t always have the internal expertise or time for training. Working with a partner is not just about bringing in talented experts to execute, but instead having people around to educate the internal team for future scenario.

“The work partnership means a lot to me,” says Ferro. “There is a big difference between a partner and a vendor and iVision is at the top of a pyramid for partners.”

CIO Advice From Jay Ferro

Now is the chance for CIOs to show what their department can do to support the needs of the business. Companies have seen that remote work is working, and in fact many remote workers are more productive than they were in the office. This time will accelerate digital transformation and the digitization of legacy process. As Ferro says, “It’s about how do we embrace the new normal, take these lessons, learn from it, and use it when this is over to accelerate.”

Ferro also offered advice for his fellow CIOs. Most importantly, leaders should always start with their people. “Culture is not an accident,” he says. “Culture is intentional, and it’s built on the actions, words and consistency of its leadership and its people.” If you cannot trust and enable your people to work remotely, then that is the tone that you are setting for the team.

Most importantly for CIOs? “Take care of yourself,” says Ferro. “If you’re not firing on all cylinders, you won’t be much good.”

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