How critical is technical leadership in uncertain times?

In such times, technology leaders are often in a battle of mind. They do not always know where to place their focus. What should they do to reduce risks? Or to solve urgent problems? And what about preparing for the ‘new normal’ of tomorrow?

Imagine, there is a vehicle race. The cars are running down the track and it is raining heavily. The cars, at a brisk fast speed, get closer to a sharp turn, while near the turn, some cars lose traction and roll off the track, fall into the barriers and burn. Other cars, accelerating through the turn and succeeding in continuing to chase. This is the environment we are in now, the technological world is the wet track, COVID-19 is the rain and the race cars are technological enterprises.

The use of cutting-edge technology can be described as a living raft that carries the world across turbulent waters.

“Balancing risk-informed decisions with digital dependency is an important aspect of business continuity.” Explains Tarek Abbas, SE Director MEA, Palo Alto Networks. To show that leaders in a difficult environment need to resist the impulse to adopt a defensive stance and rather shift their weight on their digital processes. They should rather take actions that will place their organization for success.

“We are seeing increasing cloud acceptance and an increased level of digitization during the pandemic.” adds Abbas. Leaders – as people – are so wired that they struggle to face uncertainty. When these different sources of uncertainty occur simultaneously and exacerbate each other, the level of general emotional uncertainty increases. Fortunately, in terms of business continuity, digitization does not cause problems through emotional uncertainty. “Disaster recovery and planning will keep the services running.” concludes Abbas.

This crisis that is sweeping the world undoubtedly has an impact on the way we work forward. Even before COVID-19, the presentation of flexible work-life balance became increasingly necessary to attract and retain talent. Current events will only fuel this trend, and organizations will need their technology stack – collaboration tools, video conferencing and work automation – to support a dispersed workforce in the longer term.

But as companies adhere to this new way of working, they also need to make sure they have the processes in place to manage their staff. If there is a semblance of normality again, the right technology applied in the right architecture is critical to ensure that we can all adapt to what the ‘new normal’ looks like.


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