How did IT leaders respond to a world turned upside-down? And how has the coronavirus pandemic changed spending plans over the next year? A fresh CIO survey offers illuminating answers.

Eric KnorrBy Eric Knorr
Editor in Chief, CIO | APR 30, 2020

 A crisis on the scale of the one we’re facing demands decisive action. Luckily for many IT leaders, the first move was easy: When COVID-19 work-from-home mandates hit, those with the right policies and infrastructure in place endured the massive shift to remote work with minimal disruption. Add VPN capacity, videoconferencing, and a healthy dose of candid communication, and productivity can remain relatively unscathed.

The really tough part is planning ahead. When you’re staring into the crater where the economy used to be, crossing your fingers that the Fed’s trillions will fill it, how do you budget for the coming year? Which projects should go forward and which should be scrapped or delayed when so many unanswered business questions loom?

To determine how the pandemic is affecting the roles and priorities of IT leaders – and to discover what they think the long-term effects will be – IDG Research fielded the CIO COVID-19 Impact Study in mid-April. On a separate track, CIO, Computerworld, CSO, InfoWorld, and Network World have produced dozens of articles about the challenges and solutions COVID-19 has prompted.

With social distancing restrictions still in force and the curve of new COVID-19 cases just starting to bend, the results of our factfinding efforts must be considered preliminary. But they provide real insight into IT leadership’s current thinking – and hint at the new reality of IT from this point on.