Coronavirus and IT: who will survive after a pandemic

Coronavirus and IT: who will survive after a pandemic

IT NewsFacts and forecastsTechnologies

Natalya Solovyova | 06/06/2020

Coronavirus and IT: who will survive after a pandemic

AppDynamics has unveiled the results of its study, The Agents of Transformation Report 2020: Covid-19 Special Edition, in which 1,000 IT professionals from around the world participated.
They clearly showed how the pandemic had an impact on the implementation of digital technologies, how the priorities of companies changed and what problems they had to face in the new realities.

With the spread of coronavirus, the world we used to change almost instantly, experts at AppDynamics write. Companies had to transfer the vast majority of employees to work from home, as well as
build digital strategies to promote products and services. Access to web sites and applications for obtaining data and information has been used by millions of people around the world. Pressure on
IT professionals and executives who manage the IT departments of companies have noticeably increased. Having no time to prepare for dramatically changed circumstances,
due to the pandemic and the regime of self-isolation, they faced completely new challenges for them: they had to work remotely to provide real-time infrastructure,
the applications and security companies need to maintain a digital experience.

In November 2018, AppDynamics published a global study that showed that all over the world the proportion of elite professionals who successfully conduct the digitalization process – the so-called agents
transformation – accounted for only 9% of the total number of engineers. And although this figure is small, the prospects were encouraging: 97% of all global technologists had ambitions and a desire to introduce modern
technology and drive change in their organizations.

Today, in the era of the pandemic, the need to increase the number of transformation agents has remained high. But the time factor has changed: in those employees who will give organizations
the opportunity to realize their potential, stimulate the introduction of innovations, respond most effectively and quickly to the crisis and stimulate growth in the coming months, the latter need already

COVID-19: a crisis not like the others

The pandemic had a completely unimaginable impact on the technology departments of companies. IT professionals are at the forefront of the changes that have occurred in their organizations in response to the largest
world economic crisis. It can be argued that the solution to the problems of survival of the business fell on their shoulders. So, 81% of the specialists participating in the study believe that the pandemic had the most
strong technological pressure on their organization for the entire time they work. 61% of respondents feel such a stress at work that they have never experienced: they accelerate projects for
the introduction of digital technologies, establish remote channels of work for a huge number of employees, manage the network and maintain security throughout the technology segment

With the outbreak of the pandemic, everything changed radically, literally, structures, processes and priorities were turned upside down. A change in technological areas of development was announced by 95% of respondents
companies. 88% of specialists noted that they now focus on the digital experience of customers, and 64% now perform tasks that were not previously part of their responsibilities.

Digital conversion speed

Organizations are forced to adapt their market strategies to new realities, launch new digital services and applications – and all this in a critical time frame. IT professionals have to
implement large-scale digitalization projects at an unbelievable pace. As 66% of them noted, the pandemic identified weaknesses in digital strategy, which is why there is an urgent need for
promoting initiatives that were once part of many years of digital transformation for companies. As a result, 74% of managers approved digital projects within a few weeks,
although earlier this required more than a year, and 71% of specialists implemented digital conversion projects within a few weeks, which before the pandemic would have to be spent
several months or even years.

When working at such an incredible pace, there is no time for long planning cycles and comprehensive testing of the digital concept. So, 59% of respondents were forced to solve technological issues
“Like a fire”, and 76% are concerned about the long-term consequences of such decisions. Many IT professionals are concerned about this state of things. In a survey, companies recognized that in order to make the right
For business solutions with long-term value, it is vital to monitor the performance of your applications in real time.

New Barriers to Digitalization

IT professionals had to deal with a huge number of problems, due to both the scale and urgency of the tasks they face, from handling the sharp increase in website traffic and
demand for applications to expand the capabilities of customer self-service and digital sales, maintain the level of average recovery time after failure (MTTR), and all this – in the remote mode
work. Organizational leaders must recognize that technologists can provide the highest levels of productivity for all digital services, both during and outside the pandemic, only with the right
practical approach. At the same time, 80% of respondents expressed the opinion that the productivity of applications and digital services are crucial for their business in the new environment.

Problems of motivation of employees on the “remote”

According to AppDynamics experts, the study also revealed a range of problems with the presence of “digital experience” among employees who were forced to work remotely. IT departments had to decide
problems connecting them to the Internet, providing the necessary gadgets and software. It turned out that the staff did not have enough knowledge to solve the simplest problems, a significant part of it was not familiar with
applications and platforms that must be used for productive work outside the office. The ability to cope with huge leaps in demand for IT departments will provide the right tools
to monitor and manage the company’s digital technology.

Everybody needs digital transformation agents

Organizations that focus on digital experience must recognize the priority role of IT professionals in responding to the current crisis and provide support to those who have the right
skills to implement digital technologies and solve complex problems posed to them by a pandemic. At the same time, 83% of the survey participants believe that transformation agents are crucial for
a business that wants to recover as quickly as possible from the “coronavirus” crisis. Despite the tough pressure that IT specialists work today, the report noted an active reaction
Coronavirus-related IT communities. So, 87% of respondents considered the events an excellent opportunity for technical specialists to show their value to business, and 80% said that
The IT department’s response to the pandemic has positively changed its perception in the organization.

In order to ensure that organizations successfully implement digital technologies and achieve positive business results, IT professionals need the right tools, support and
Environment. At the same time, 92% of them believe that the most important factor in the development of an elite IT specialist is an understanding of the effectiveness of the company’s technological segment and its impact on
customers and business. Other key developmental factors include autonomy and accountability, real-time data access when needed, access to senior mentors
or transformation agents within the business. At the same time, 78% of respondents preferred working with well-known and reliable suppliers who have shown flexibility and provided support during the pandemic,
and 66% when solving technological problems got access to free or low-cost software, support and training from reliable technology partners.

Strategy Review

The impact of a pandemic will last much longer than its associated limitations. Much will change forever. Organizations recognize the benefits of teleworking for a large number of their employees;
apply flexible approaches to all areas of the life cycle of the team, from staff selection to internal communications. In society, video communication will continue, consumers will be actively
use digital services for physical exercise, grocery shopping, training, entertainment, access to digital health services. As predicted by 87% of IT-specialists, according to
At the end of the pandemic, their organizations are focusing on the digital business and will pay increased attention to application security and system disaster recovery. Investment in technology and
training and development of IT specialists themselves will increase. Organizations should do their best to provide their professionals with the tools, leadership and
support for transition to the status of transformation agent, which will enable them, in turn, to provide the company with positive business results. It is skill, vision and determination
such experts determine whether companies can overcome the crisis period and become stronger in the future, the authors of the study comment.

digital business transformation

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