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Benchmark Awards 2021: Adapting to the new speed and scale of IT

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Benchmark Awards 2021: Adapting to the new speed and scale of IT

Sizing up the IT challenges ahead in 2021.

It’s a relief to have made it through 2020, but life is far from back to normal, including for many people working in IT.

They may have more on their plate now due to COVID – think of the ongoing pandemic-related initiatives begun in 2020 that require IT support.

And they may be wondering what surprises are coming in 2021, after moving mountains to keep their organisations functioning during the pandemic.

The speed and scale of IT work is daunting, perhaps more so since early 2020. For some, these demands won’t ease soon.

To explore the implications, we are once again partnering with iTnews Benchmark Awards partner KPMG Digital Delta, which sees opportunity to "re-imagine and re-invent organisations to become world class digital enterprises using advanced technologies, data and human insights”. We will bring you a series of articles about digital transformation challenges and opportunities.

We have named this series “Reimagining the future with confidence”. It will look at the increasing demands on IT leaders and teams, and what they can do about it.

For a snapshot of these demands, you only need to look at some of the IT projects nominated for this year’s iTnews Benchmark Awards.

IT departments in the finance sector told us about how they worked remotely during the height of the pandemic on large IT modernisation projects.

Government IT leaders told us how they helped with pandemic response activities, including streamlining nationwide welfare payments.

Others explained how they established a digital geo-spatial model of thousands of square kilometres in Western Sydney.

Nominees also told us about implementing systems for large workforces, including one rollout to more than 155,000 staff members in the health sector.

And they laid out the use of a system to provide visibility of public and private intensive care hospital resources across Australia.

We also learned about how award nominees dealt with complexity, scale and time pressures. The use of change management and agile methodologies stood out. One finalist captured regular feedback about a cloud system from thousands of users during implementation. Some used AI to streamline large projects and to enable new digital services.

For these organisations and many others, their IT agenda moved some time ago beyond digitalisation to encompass operation at speed and scale.

Adjusting to these pressures isn’t easy. AI and other technologies are pushed as solutions, but there is much discussion about their potential pitfalls. This is one of the issues we will explore in this series.

We hope that this series helps you appreciate the opportunities to achieve more with IT as you size up the challenges ahead in 2021.

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