Top challenges in prosperity times
In Q4 2019, I decided to create a report about Top CTO Challenges. Time was good, the economy was in a growing phase. People were willingly sharing their situations and issues. Most of them were about the demand and supply issues in the IT space. Now it’s different.
The end of the Q1 2020 is a huge surprise for most of us and I would love to update those challenges based on my recent talks with CTOs and friends working in the IT industry.
#1 Challenge – Hiring
In good times developers are hunted and hard to find. Now I see that many companies from fragile industries like airlines, events, hotels are reducing costs by firing developers. I’ve noticed senior developers who are looking for a job. It has never happened in my career. Most of them feel awkward and a bit lost cause they were always chased and now they need to make decisions quickly to secure their income source.
In a short time, we will have a small roller coaster. However, in the long term, developers will find jobs, as the world needs more digital transformation. Social distancing will make this process even faster.
- Remote Work Challenges for HR
- Tech companies switch to video interviews to hire fresh talent
- Guide to Remote Hiring
- How Do I Run an Effective Stand-Up Meeting with a Remote Team?
- How To Hire A Remote Developer – The Ultimate Guide
People #2 Challenge – Mutual understanding (between Business and Technology)
In the office, it’s sometimes hard to find one goal and understanding between the business and technology teams. When we add home office reality, screaming kids, economic crisis – well, you know how it looks. It might be very difficult to agree as everything changes even week by week. Business can adapt quite quickly, although technology needs a bit more time. I see that many IT projects are paused, canceled or postponed. The business will ask twice if we need such software or not. Everyone will try to keep costs as low as possible now.
Below a few references:
- What Software Developers Need to Know About Coronavirus’ Impact on the Tech Industry
- Coronavirus: CIO Areas of Focus During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- 3 Simple Digital Transformation Principles That Will Help Your Business Adapt to the Coronavirus Crisis
- Impact of the Corona crisis on startups & tech
#3 Challenge – Communication
This part is especially interesting. Everyone involved in IT works remotely now, and it works somehow. In terms of technical issues, we shouldn’t have any problems. We might face challenges in human to human interactions (lack of it). It’s far easier to ask someone for something rather than organizing a video chat with such a person. The good practice with remote communication is to set clear expectations and rules for communication, like confirming via email all online meetings or further steps.
I personally prefer phone conversations and then written confirmation so as to make both parties feel that they are on the same page.
- How to Grow a Positive Company Culture with a Remote Team
- Managing Employees Remotely During The Coronavirus Outbreak
- The 9 new rules of IT leadership
- The psychological impact on the team when sh*t hits the fan!
- How To Create The Perfect Work From Home Policy For Your Company In 2020
#4 Challenge – Lack of motivation and productivity (trust and management issues)
Today, I’ve read that there is software taking pictures of your employees every 5 minutes to check if they are really working at home. What an insane idea! With the current situation (crisis knocking to people’s door you should make aware your employees that productivity, focus, and motivation is the only thing that can safe the company and their jobs. Everyone should have clear objectives in this hard time and do the job the best he/she can – that’s it. No excuses, no complaints. Only the most adaptable survive so make your employees aware of the situation in order to trust them without any additional means of control. Let them surprise you with the outcomes of their work and ideas they have.
- Communication Is More Important Now Than Ever Before: 9 Ways To Reassure And Re-Engage Your Team
- 8 early warning signs of IT disaster
- Leading Remote Workers: The Coronavirus’ Impact On Effective Management
- Staying productive while working remotely with Microsoft Teams
- How to Keep Employees Productive During the Coronavirus Outbreak
#5 Challenge – Remote developers and outsourcing
This part doesn’t change much with one exception – the market will be more competitive. Many industries will cut off software development companies and focus on local markets, more developers will be available for hire. Only strategic tech partners will survive and companies that really bring value (not only coders). So I am assuming that CTOs won’t have any problems with outsourcing as they will hire more people locally (at least in the short time, when industries like travel, events will go through difficulties).
Below a few references:
- The impact of coronavirus on software development
- What is the effect of COVID-19 coronavirus on Outsourcing Companies in India?
#6 Challenge – Wasting resources (time and money)
This is worth mentioning. Only in U.S. organizations wasted $30 billion for the last 4 years, so globally this amount must be much higher. We already know that many companies waste money on unused software or on refactoring existing ones. Now, they will look for saving everywhere and may finally realize that 30 % of their tools are not used at all. Additionally, they won’t be creating software without thinking twice if they really need it.
Below a few references:
- The real cost of unused software will shock you
- The $85 Billion Cost of Bad Code
- Is High Quality Software Worth the Cost?
In general, we expect huge turbulences. CTOs will be looking for a job as some of their current companies won’t exist or will have a hard time surviving this crisis. There will far more challenges with maintaining the existing status quo than with growing the business (however online and e-learning may flourish).
I am super curious about how the current situation will impact the digital and IT world. Do you see any negative or positive insights from your industry or your role as a CTO? Feel free to share your thoughts, I will be happy to discuss more (email@example.com).