Covid19 – CIO in the storm: 4 tips to stay the course

Point of view
By Marie Decroix, Principal & Sébastien Chaussoy, Partner at CYLAD Consulting
 

During this Covid-19 crisis, CIOs are finding themselves pushed to the edge, with increased pressure on their IT infrastructure to maintain steady operations, while carefully managing costs and preparing to support the “back-to-business” phase. CYLAD Consulting shares good practices from best-in-class companies.
 
In the initial days of the crisis, CIOs had to respond drastically and adapt quickly to support the transition from a centralized to a decentralized (i.e. remote) working environment: How to ensure network reliability with an increased bandwidth demand? Which applications require remote access? How to strenghten the Cybersecurity measures? All of these questions required an immediate response.
After this first phase, CIOs now need to secure a sustainable level of support for Business-critical activities, while maintaining or even reducing cost.
Here are 4 best-practices, easily implementable, that CYLAD shares from its experience working with best-in-class industrial companies:
 
1.Ensure IT reliability: Implement a daily-crisis-dashboard with KPIs to track and monitor employee’s ability to access their working environment and to reduce work disruption
 
– Technical Health: on-site and remote connections (volume, speed, failures…), service desk activity (incidents, requests)
– Operational Excellence: focus on critical applications: percentage availability, number of incidents, accelerated escalation process activation for shortage
– CyberSecurity: Security incidents (minor / major / critical)
– People (IT workers): on-site / remote number, sick leaves status, actions from HR for well being
 
2.Refocus business priorities: Initiate a project ranking and selection, and put on hold short-term non-essential activities and projects and focus on long-term business sustainability
 
– Assessed by Multi-functional top management team for fast decision making, all business being represented in IT-Business partnership model
– Value-based approach considering value generated for business, operational KPIs at stake, evaluation of risk of not doing
– Ensure compliance to security standards for each activity
– Prevail short term impact while not jeopardizing capacity to prepare the future for the Business
 

3.Adjust workload-capacity plan: assess need for resources re-allocation based on new priorities and level of operations continuity
– Based on projects on hold vs prioritized, re-allocate internal resources
– Based on Make or Buy strategy, evaluate impact of the decisions on suppliers, partner with Procurement to revise and align purchases with projects
 

4.Control cost: Monitor carefully on a weekly basis the cost impact of the crisis on IT spend
– Increases to be anticipated: network costs, remote licences, service desk
– Identification of savings to compensate for increases: licences volume for new projects ramp-up, travels, devices replacement slow-down, contract negotiation eg licences…
 
We hope these tips will help you stay focused in the storm. These times are tough but can be an opportunity to accelerate identification of mid-term transformations to be launched for IT, such as implementation of a continuous Value-driven Governance, review of Operating Model, improvement of IT Financial Management or step-change in Technology and Innovation.
 
On these topics, CYLAD can be your partner to bring your IT to the next level.

Download Point of view