Article

CIOs and how they behave in a crisis

Crises are painful phases and some can even be existential turning points. Keeping your head down and waiting to see what happens or until the crisis has passed is usually the worst option. But crises are also turning points, drivers of innovation and opportunities for a new start.

For CIOs in particular, it is therefore important not simply to manage crises successfully, but also to keep an eye on the more distant future and to take steps during the crisis that are effective in supporting that long-term perspective.

Immediate and successful crisis management by CIOs

The most important objectives for CIOs in a crisis include

  • Focusing on the safety of employees and customers or guaranteeing it as effectively as possible (e.g. forcing them to work from home, meeting health requirements quickly, etc.)
  • Ensuring that the company is able to operate by maintaining the availability of important infrastructures, systems and processes that are critical to the company and monitoring their performance
  • Creating the command structures necessary for crisis management, in particular integration of the entire management team, determination of staged plans for the coming weeks, definition of clear work streams, priorities and ongoing coordination for rapid responses to the current circumstances
  • Showing leadership, being present and giving direction, both internally and to the company’s partners and suppliers
  • Clear communication of decisions and decision-making processes
  • Execution of relevant emergency plans (if they exist)
  • Carrying out essential short-term changes to facilitate new ways of working and modification or relocation of business processes
  • Guaranteeing IT security in general and preventing exploitation of the critical situation by those outside the company, hackers, etc.
  • As soon as is realistic: providing a visible conclusion to the crisis by means of clear signals

The key elements of visible, successful crisis management must, of course, also be dealt with by the entire company management and the resulting findings and measures must be agreed.

ResultONE – the right partner in challenging situations

Support with crisis management from ResultONE is crucial: ResultONE is often called in in difficult, critical situations and has a proven track record of finding effective solutions in consultation with the customer

At the same time: counteracting the risk to important IT projects

Stressful situations such as the Covid-19 crisis often cause companies to focus directly on managing the crisis, to cut programs and resources and to return to traditional (old) working methods.

But previous crises have shown that companies that just “sit out” the crisis by concentrating on managing it and cutting resources in areas that could lead them in other directions fared less well than those companies that cut some resources but also invested in a targeted way and with due consideration. Targeted use of technology has created significant competitive advantages for those companies.

  • For CIOs, this means not only having a plan for a way out of the crisis but also pursuing long-term IT objectives. It is important in this context to review the service portfolio, areas of focus, projects and roadmaps in relation to anticipated changes, both external and internally driven. In this way, CIOs create the basis for redeploying resources that become free in important areas.

The balancing act for CIOs: reconciling management of the crisis with further development

The period of a crisis is also the crucial period for setting the way forward: just a few weeks can make all the difference! It is important to strike the right balance between speed and sustainability.

ResultONE supports CIOs in this area, applies relevant experience and helps to find the optimal balance by applying the Act2Perform© procedural model, which has proven its worth in numerous situations. On the basis of an analysis of the current situation and future scenarios, it identifies potential, opportunities, risks and specific measures and priorities.

Questions

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