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What CIOs should do to prepare for coronavirus disruptions

Stamford (Connecticut), March 11 (IANS) Amid rising cases of novel coronavirus, chief information officers or CIOs should focus on three short-term actions to increase their organizations’ resilience against disruptions and prepare for rebound and growth, Gartner Inc. said on Wednesday.

“With such a dynamic situation like COVID-19, it has the potential to be as disruptive, or more, to an organization’s continuity of operations as a cyber intrusion or natural disaster,” said Sandy Shen, Senior Research Director at Gartner, in a statement.

Various quarantine measures and travel restrictions undertaken by organizations, cities and countries have caused uncertainties and disruptions as business operations are either suspended or run in limited capacity.

In organizations where remote working capabilities have not yet been established, CIOs need to work out interim solutions in the short term, including identifying use case requirements such as instant messaging for general communication, file sharing/meeting solutions, and access to enterprise applications such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM), while reviewing all security arrangements to ensure secure access to applications and data.

“When traditional channels and operations are impacted by the outbreak, the value of digital channels, products and operations becomes immediately obvious. This is a wake-up call to organizations that focus on daily operational needs at the expense of investing in digital business and long-term resilience,” Shen added.

Many organizations already engage customers over digital platforms, such as branded sites and apps, online marketplaces and social media. But offline face-to-face engagement still plays a big role.

Workplace collaboration, video conferencing and livestreaming solutions can serve various customer engagement and selling scenarios. Organizations should also enable customers to use self-service via online, mobile, social, kiosk and interactive voice response (IVR) channels.

Confusing data from unverified sources — or the sheer lack of data — can lead to ill-informed decisions being made, escalating employee anxiety and making organizations underprepared for returning to normal operations.

Such anxiety can be somewhat relieved if organizations can leverage data to support better decision making and communicate progress more efficiently to employees.

–IANS

ksc/prs

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