Applications The New Different

Prioritizing Digital Transformation During a Pandemic

May 15, 2020

Prioritizing Digital Transformation During a Pandemic

The need for reprioritizing digital transformation projects during a crisis has come. COVID-19 has created a fast-paced environment for tech pros in which once-necessary tasks are now pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. COVID-19 is putting tech pros to the test by demanding a new way to properly work, communicate, and complete daily tasks remotely. Remote work has become our new normal during quarantine and monitoring the full stack for new issues has become routine. In a strictly remote environment, we may find ourselves investing in new services and creating plans to ease future crisis.

Main Concerns and Solutions

The shift from the office to remote workplaces has essentially turned employees into another class of customers and calls for new budgeting strategies—two main issues CIOs will need to work out. While employees, unlike clients, may know the ins and outs of their company’s software, working remotely can lead to various issues. Companies are now forced to monitor their employees as they would their clients. A remote workforce also requires the need to ensure employees’ networks are safe, since they’re not on the dedicated in-office network.

While this fiscal year has been greatly impacted and led to the slowdowns or shutdowns of several businesses, costs must be cut to help ensure services and products are still delivered in a timely and successful manner. CIOs will need to decide where to cut costs and which projects should take priority in spending. This can only be done through monitoring and subsequent reprioritizing.

Businesses are forced to meet demands while also addressing the elephant in the room. Organizations with a focus on leading-edge technology will continue to tackle the latest business advances, but their priority has now shifted to remote services. The high increase in online grocery orders, shopping, and streaming services is just the tip of the iceberg; virtually every company is now placing their investments into remote services. Those who don’t work with leading-edge technologies are less in demand and should look to where they can cut costs and which projects they can postpone.

Learning to Prioritize

Although not every company can have an identical business plan, there’s an overall need for categorizing priorities and ensuring a greater balance between infrastructure cost and performance. By monitoring their current business demands, CIOs can separate their needs into two categories—what they can track and see as valuable investment, and what could potentially be an opportunity to consolidate or de-emphasize to recover opportunity cost. By doing this, CIOs can better cut costs for unworthy investments and avoid cutting costs for potentially successful investments.

Executives may miss out on proper investments if they aren’t considering all streams of revenue. Since we’re dealing with a crisis for which we have little-to-no experience, some increased streams of profit may come as a surprise. To ensure all streams of business revenue and profit are considered, CIOs must monitor as widely as possible until they’re able to choose worthy areas of focus for optimization or incremental investments. Application performance management (APM) can help companies decide where the best balance between cost and performance lies.

Continued Investments

COVID-19 has increased the need for remote workforces, and with this comes the need for end-user monitoring and remote solutions. If companies didn’t have a back-up plan for remote work, they’ll surely have one now. Companies will continue to invest in their remote services, even without the requirement for employees to work from home. Aside from collaboration tools to ease the transition into working from home, a greater investment will be placed in tools designed to help companies reprioritize projects and spending. By forming a future-proof plan, we’ll be able to easily monitor and decide which digital transformation tasks should be prioritized and how to restructure budgets in times of a greater emergency.


Dave Wagner is a senior manager of product marketing at SolarWinds with over 20 years of experience focused on IT performance and optimization. In his current role, Dave works closely with product management and corporate marketing to ensure alignment in go-to-market strategy and messaging for the SolarWinds application performance monitoring (APM) products. Prior to joining SolarWinds, Dave served as CTO of OpsDataStore, business development principal for TeamQuest, and vice president, marketing and sales at Solution Labs Inc.