6 ways IT leaders are jumpstarting innovation post-COVID

CIOs are pushing for new approaches to innovation to meet the opportunities and challenges of a business landscape forever changed by the past year’s pandemic.

6 ways IT leaders are jumpstarting innovation post-COVID
Sutad Watthanakul / Getty Images

Even as COVID restrictions begin to lift, IT teams may still get little reprieve from the breakneck pace they’ve maintained throughout the pandemic to orchestrate technical change. That’s because, most IT executives don’t believe the dust has fully settled — instead viewing IT’s next phase as being primed for innovation.

“We think there’s still a lot more disruption, and we see changes in early adoption on things like robotics and delivery,” says Joseph Park, chief innovation officer at Yum Brands, parent company to KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. “What that means for us is a doubling down on our pipeline of innovations.”

Many technology leaders have been riding the wave of fast-pace, reactionary change for more than a year. In many cases, they were able to prove what could be accomplished with quicker cycles and less bureaucracy. 

As the pandemic moves farther in our rear-view mirror, more strategic innovation is again poised to take off. The difference now is that technology leaders must sustain this exponentially faster pace by reimagining their innovation strategies, extending their operating models, and broadening their capabilities.

“COVID accelerated innovation because of the risk of not having a future business model in place,” says Michelle Bazargan, senior director of strategy and innovation in Gartner’s CIO research group. “The full landscape now has changed,” not just technology, but customer preferences and new ways of doing business. “They don’t want to be another Blockbuster.”

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