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CIO Commentary: What's in Your Technology Recovery Wallet?

"As you start your recovery process, people should be the core of primary transformation; they should be our strength and your stakeholder. Safety, communication, collaboration, trust and continuous engagement should be first, and with flexibility in mind. Everyone is a VIP."

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The following commentary, by Roseville Chief Information Officer Hong Sae, first appeared on LinkedIn. It’s republished here with permission, edited lightly for style.

As businesses and governmental organizations begin planning for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery phase, some of us will remain in passive and reactive mode, and some will be predictive and proactive (pre-active). Organizations that are pre-active will gain momentum quickly when the recovery process occurs and be able to prepare for digital challenges ahead.

Here are the five focus areas that should be in your “Digital Wallet” for business technology recovery efforts:

1. People First

2. Prioritize your Business

3. Process Re-engineering

4. Performance = Digital Transformation

5. Prepare to Change and Pre-Actively Adapt (Leadership)

People – As you start your recovery process, people should be the core of primary transformation; they should be our strength and your stakeholder. Safety, communication, collaboration, trust and continuous engagement should be first, and with flexibility in mind. Everyone is a VIP.

Priority – “Business is not as usual.” Review new terms and conditions on projects and contracts with your legal team. Re-prioritize and reassess mission, financial, cyber and operational risk on your projects’ and programs’ goal(s).

Process – Process will change in days; policy will be drafted in weeks. How can we and our business partners recover quickly and hold ourselves socially responsible? (Which is first, revenue or resiliency?)

Performance – Improve your business continuity strategy, protect your core IT operations, be innovative in your quick wins. Take this opportunity to build resiliency and improve your overall remote access infrastructure and prepare for natural disaster to coincide with the pandemic (second wave/aftershock).

Prepare – Be ready to permanently change the way we do business (“new normal”) and define your new destination and new practices. (Leaders should utilize past and present data to take future actions with safety and recovery in mind).

The world is in this together. This pandemic event is an all-encompassing challenge of the human spirit. This is, after all, our first modern pandemic, and many lessons will be learned.

Hong Sae is the Chief Information Officer for the city of Roseville. He's also Vice President of the Executive Board of the Municipal Information Systems Association of California (MISAC). He has his bachelor's in computer science from the University of Arkansas, and he has his Certified Government CIO credential through the Rutgers University Certified Government Credential Program. He may be reached at Hong Sae is the Chief Information Officer for the city of Roseville. He's also Vice Presiden