1. IT Departments Have Been Working Overtime
Knowledge 2020 opened with a big thank you to IT departments as they pushed to get the vast majority of Americans working from home in a matter of weeks — or in some cases, days.
“We’re in unprecedented times, and IT is absolutely the hero,” ServiceNow Senior Vice President of IT Workflow Products Pablo Stern said in his opening keynote address.
While the initial push may be over, he added, in many ways, the work for IT departments is just beginning.
“Digital is the new normal,” said Stern. “It’s to deliver an experience not only for their employees, so that they can be more productive, but for their customers, so they can get the service they’ve come to count on.”
2. Successful Digital Transformation Is Dependent on Culture
One thing that industry leaders agree on is that in the new working world, digital transformation is no longer optional. The nature of remote work makes digitalization a necessity, but for companies who are early on in this journey, it’s important to make sure the organization’s culture is ready for the change.
“Change is a fact of life in organizations,” said Richard Murphy, ServiceNow editor in chief. “But it has to be carried out in a way that makes people want to adapt to it.”
He said that it’s important to make sure employees feel like they’re listened to, and that they’re part of the change.
“Employees get engaged when you enlist them in the process,” Murphy said. “When you train them, you can ask them to send in their ideas for feedback so they can see change happening.”
3. The ‘Next Normal’ Will Require More Than Just IT
To say there’s been a lot of talk about the “new normal” would be an understatement. But in a joint Q&A session, ServiceNow CIO Chris Bedi and Chief Talent Officer Pat Wadors spoke about what the different phases of that might look like, referring to the immediate future as the “next normal.”
“The pre-COVID workplace no longer exists,” Wadors said. “We will do dramatic shifts to make sure we’re safe, healthy, productive and adaptable for the new workplace.”
Bedi added that different departments are going to have to come together to solve some of these new challenges, and technology will play a key role.
“You’ll have the head of talent thinking about things like virtual onboarding and how to keep employees engaged,” Bedi said. “You’ll have the CFO thinking about modeling out cash flow forecasts, supply chain officers thinking about logistics and routes to market. But there’s one thing in common, which is that it’s all powered by tech.”
4. Remote Work Is Accelerating Digital Transformation
If organizations weren’t already on their digital transformation journey, widespread remote work forced them into it. Businesses of all sizes across all industries have had to speed up their digitalization efforts in order to serve their customers and support their workforces. But amid that fast transition, organizations still need to take steps to make sure the process is a success.
“It’s like widening the road when you still have to drive,” said CDW Chief Architect for Service Management Solutions Steven Horvath.
He laid out eight trends that business leaders should look at to help drive a successful transformation — adding that ultimately, it’s about people, process and technology coming together for a common goal.
“I liken it to a three-legged stool,” Horvath said. “The top of the stool is the vision, it’s ‘what are we going to do’ — but then, when you think about a three-legged stool, all three legs have to be in balance, and if they’re not in balance, the stool wobbles.”