Cutting expensive, large-scale transformations may seem appropriate in the wake of COVID-19. The need to preserve cash and re-direct scarce resources drives the agenda of many key leaders; however, this instinct may be counter-productive if cuts affect needed future capabilities. When reviewing transformation programs during times of uncertainty, it is better to ask “how can our transformation program best serve us in today’s environment?”
Many digital transformations use an agile method to determine priorities—building and working off a backlog of transformational outcomes. Rather than slashing transformation programs, a better response is to rework the transformation backlog to include today’s needs AND continue to deliver on high priority digital outcomes that enable the business for the future. Such an approach can deliver much needed technical outcomes, and also continue IT’s capability development—a subtle, but critical outcome of a digital transformation that can be completely derailed by canceling transformation initiatives.
This paper offers near-term and longer-term considerations for preserving transformation initiatives, using five lenses:
- business impact
- risk and compliance