CIOs are reinventing IT priorities due to tighter budgets, a significant need to enhance business processes, and to adopt a fresh look at the future of work

CIO roles and priorities have changed drastically due to the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing them to consider its long-term impact on their IT organizations and on business as a whole.CIO COVID-19 Impact Study by IDG in mid-April said budgets would either hold steady or increase by next year. CIOs globally expected to have a renewed emphasis on operational efficiency, expense management, and cost controls. The survey also said that CIOs would minimize the focus on business collaboration, hiring, and training in the coming months.

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IT priorities have seen a major shift, especially on business operations, and IT leaders are trying to navigate the uncertainties. According to the report, 40% of CIOs said their IT budgets will hold steady while only a quarter said their budgets will still increase in the next 12 months. The increased budgets in a few sectors are being used to increase remote work capabilities. About 35% of respondents said their IT budgets will now decrease in 2021owing to COVID-19 disruption. Nearly half of the IT leaders said they would focus long term on cost control and expense management.  A majority of CIOs are also redefining business processes going forward.

The current remote working situation could permanently become the new normal. Seventy percent of the IT leaders agreed the work-from-home mandate had created a more positive view of remote work policies. It is expected to impact how they plan for office space, tech, and overall staffing in the future. Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, CEOs are prioritizing on improving the remote work experience along with leading digital transformation initiatives.

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The pandemic has also hit plans or mergers, acquisitions, and collaborations, according to the report. The data says that only 18% of IT leaders expect to spend time cultivating IT and business partnerships, in this difficult time. However, it is essential for enterprises to have an IT and business integrated collaboration since the remote working model has increased the opportunities for automation and digital transformation. A big business shift is expected in the new normal, which will bring new opportunities. The recession caused by the global business slowdown is expected to drive innovation, completely changing the definition and concept of normal. Companies of all sizes will face this new situation and can expect drastic changes in priorities and working processes after the world opens again. New brands will probably be the leaders and like every calamity, the pandemic will also drive new business opportunities to appear.