The global shift to remote working in 2020 may have been an inevitable consequence of a pandemic, but it ended up accelerating digital transformation for many businesses.
Ho Chye Soon, Singapore Country Manager, Nutanix, pointed out that the CIO's role is validated as digital transformation becomes a top priority for the C-suite.
"Previously, digitisation was the priority of the CIO but not given then same level of attention by the CEO or the rest of the C-suite. This changed rapidly with the onset of the pandemic when finally, the enabling power of digital transformation was recognised across the business. It will remain a top priority throughout 2021, when having the right level of digital ability will continue to be vital for business agility and survival," he noted.
"As a result, the CIO will become more prominent in business decisioning and leadership, with their tech investments having been validated in a big way. The shift of IT from a cost centre to a key business driver will accelerate. Every business is now a technology business, even if they don’t realise it yet.”
"In 2021, employees and customers are virtual. There’s now a premium on digital transformation as the vehicle for driving employee productivity and customer experience," observed Zakir Ahmed, Senior VP and GM, Asia Pacific & Japan at Kofax.
"If 2020 has taught enterprises anything, it’s that remote working on a company-wide scale is possible. With people at the centre of everything, 2021 now offers an opportunity for businesses to chart a new way forward and ask how they can deliver work to their people," added Sean Duca, VP and Regional Chief Security Officer, Asia Pacific & Japan, Palo Alto Networks.
In 2021, how we work and what enables our new workstyles will evolve as new solutions come online and businesses come to terms with the need to move from makeshift infrastructure to something more permanent. Industry observers agree that technology is essential:
Dinesh Malkani, Founder and CEO, Smarten Spaces said, "Hybrid work has fast become the norm. In 2021, it is expected that 25% of seats in offices will be made redundant, with occupancy over time decreasing to 10%–50% (down from 70% in pre-COVID days).
"Moving forward, people will continue to focus on what matters most in their work life: a desire for spaces that create a sense of community and impact. CIOs will be challenged to work cross-functionally to deliver tomorrow’s offices that are great places for collaboration and focused teamwork, while managing costs."
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