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Underinvesting in innovation set businesses back in the pandemic. But it’s not too late to embrace change

If the past several weeks have taught us anything, it’s that the COVID-19 pandemic is not behind us. In fact, it’s clear that we’re in it for the long haul, with global cases now reaching close to 15 million and hot spots judi online re-emerging across the country.

As such, not only must we continue to adapt to a rapidly shifting environment when it comes to working and learning remotely, we also need to determine the best way ahead for a mixed environment in which some regions take their first steps towards reopening while others take a couple of steps back, or where some people return to the office while others continue working from home indefinitely or even permanently.

Within the unknowns of what the future holds for us, it’s clear that technology — and IT professionals — are, and will continue to be, central players in setting the stage for a hybrid working environment, preparing businesses for future upheavals, and even helping make the physical workplace more conducive to preserving the health and well-being of employees.

In May, Insight conducted a survey of IT leaders on how COVID-19 had impacted their priorities and their companies’ ability to operate, as well as the technologies they plan to lean on to facilitate a safe return to work. The results found that many organizations had underinvested in their IT capabilities prior to the pandemic, with just 24% of businesses able to adapt to the new environment with no downtime, and less than half (46%) of IT professionals saying they felt very or extremely prepared to pivot to the new business landscape.

But COVID-19 has served as a crash-course in business resilience, and IT pros feel more prepared than ever to deal with future crises. In our survey, 79% of respondents expect their department will take on a greater role in their organization than pre-COVID-19, and 65% feel their companies are very or extremely prepared to grapple with future disruptions similar to the pandemic.

This data illustrates the relationship between innovation, business continuity and success. Those organizations that empowered their IT professionals to push boundaries and experiment with new tools likely comprise the one-quarter of businesses that did not experience any disruption. They are likely the businesses that had fully embraced cloud computing, collaboration suites and “work-from-anywhere” solutions long before the pandemic hit. And they are likely the ones who will emerge from the other side of this crisis stronger and nimbler.