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             Covid-19: CIO of the Year?

            There has certainly not been a shortage of anecdotes   Remote Working
            on how COVID-19 should  be declared the CIO of the
            year.  I  have  been  in  many  conversations  that  have   A  remote  workforce  is  no  longer  a  novelty.  In  May
            variously blamed or credited the pandemic as being the   2018,  Zug,  Switzerland  service  office  provider,  IWG,
            single  most  significant  event  that  has  gotten   found that 70% of professionals worldwide are already
            organizations  scrambling  to  rethink  business  models   working remotely.
            and accelerate their digital transformation – something
            that had previously been at the back of the mind, now   While working from home is seen as advantageous by
            pushed to the forefront of every business decision.   many employees, on the contrary, companies may lack
                                                                 the technological infrastructure to run without disrupting
                                       The    old   adage    –   operations.  Continued  success  not  only  rests  on  the
                                       necessity is the mother of   ability to pivot processes but also company cultures. In
                                       invention  –  seems  more   China,  when  the  government  encouraged  millions  to
                             COVID-19   apt  than  ever,  as  the   remain at home, Chinese companies could immediately
                                       world starts to reconfigure   adapt  due  to  technological  capabilities.  Even  so,
                                       its  approach  to  work,   company  cultures  were  simply  not  ready,  resulting  in
                                       education,  entertainment   other unexpected social and mental health issues.
            and, more fundamentally, well-being. Businesses have
            begun experimenting with previously untested methods   In  Malaysia,  as  the  gig  economy  continues  to  gain
            and  mechanisms  –  and  this  in  turn  opened  the   momentum, employers will have to reassess rigid work
            floodgates  to  accessing  digital  tools  for  solutions.   policies  that  would  have  been  crafted  in  times  when
            Beyond  business  operations  and  Work-From-Home    work  was  centralized.  In  the  interest  of  long-term
            initiatives,  it  has  expanded  to  on-demand  food  and   effectiveness,  even  organizations  that  revert  to  pre-
            services,  telemedicine  and  online  financial  services.   COVID-19  work  practices  must  transform  so  they  are
                                                                 prepared for a whole new environment.
            As the dust settles after COVID-19, questions will arise
            as  to  how  businesses  and  the  workforce  will  bounce   Innovations in Telehealth, Telemedicine
            back into the new normal. In fact, the first question to
            arise will be what the new normal looks like.        One of the first instance of innovation I noticed during
                                                                 the  early  stages  of  the  pandemic  was  the  Corona-
            For  organizations  that  have  boxed  themselves  in  with   Tracker  app,  created  by  a  team  of  researchers  in
            operations-as-usual at the expense of digitalizing their   Malaysia.
            business  and  long-term  resilience,  the  current
            pandemic  is  a  bolt  from  the  future.  Businesses  that   Telehealth  and  telemedicine  are  now  getting  attention
            have shifted to digital platforms will better mitigate the   as  well.  The  government’s  move  to  quickly  adopt
            effect  of  the  outbreak  and  will  more  likely  ensure   technology  and  transform  by  developing  virtual  health
            smooth operations immediately after the MCO and over   advisories and using live chats and webinars is in line
            the long term.                                       with  this.  Malaysia’s  telemedicine  blueprint,  crafted  in
                                                                 the  late  90s,  envisioned  a  time  when  patients  could

             April 2020: Social Commerce & Influencer Marketing: social shopping as the future of commerce       8
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