“Rip and Replace” or “Rip and Wait” Amid COVID-19

Market watchers and technology pundits remember 2000, 2001, and 2008 when describing coronavirus (COVID-19). These were years of significant upheaval in our economy and tech sector. Businesses adapted to survive, and the unsuccessful ones perished.

And each time, it was a struggle. But today’s lesson is that good things happen on the other side of that struggle.

With coronavirus directing our future decisions, the effect on digital transformation strategies are huge. And this means the race to create even MORE value than previously projected has begun. Your teams will focus on what’s essential and what’s nice to have. Projects are going to be delayed or even trashed.

For instance, a new survey by Enterprise Technology Research suggests almost 20% of respondents say they have already frozen deployments and new projects.

“The data suggests that enterprises are moving towards a ‘keep-the-lights-on strategy’,” Sagar Kadakia, ETR’s director of research, tells Forbes.

As Markets Swing on COVID-19, Get Ready for New Technology and Marketing Opportunities

The good news is many have been ready for this, even during the recent Martech boom. That’s because technology leaders prefer abrupt changes in IT strategy based on market direction. For instance, a study from Martech Advisor says 83% of marketers “rip and replace” their technology stack each year.

In the book “Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction,” Silicon Valley Entrepreneur, Tom Siebel, sets the path forward:

“Recruiting, training and management practices will need to be overhauled. The nature of work will change and unless your workforce is trained, incented, organized, and motivated to take advantage of these new technologies, the economic and social benefits will not accrue. This is the hard part.”

We are in a period of great change. And the pressure to overhaul as a means of technology and economic survival fall on CIOs, marketers, and their teams. History shows that periods of calamity usually produce great innovation and value being on the other side of that change. A great example is how the Internet 2.0 arose amid the ashes of the Dot-com bubble burst in 2000. 

Successful leaders will hold the rudder on this perspective while keeping one eye on where these volatile markets are taking us during COVID-19.

And they will need to adapt faster than ever before.