12 CIO Quotes on COVID-19, Digital Change, and More

WalkMe Team
By WalkMe Team
Updated May 8, 2023

In this collection of quotes, we’ll look at advice and observations from industry leaders who reflect on the impact of COVID-19, the changing role of the CIO, how digital technology is transforming business, and more.

Here are a few recent quotes that can help CIOs navigate today’s fast-paced digital economy:

COVID-19 and times of crisis

COVID-19 has only made digital more relevant as companies…have undergone their own massive, overnight experiment in agile, and remote ways of working.”

Kate Smaje, Senior Partner, McKinsey Digital

“It’s in crises that leaders, teams and organizations are tested. This is when the big questions get asked. Does a practiced disaster recovery plan exist? What about a resilience strategy to respond and bounce back? Are all the systems in place to support work after a disaster?”

Jonathan Reichental, former CIO, Palo Alto

“The pandemic has not only altered the way engagement is viewed across every touch point, it has also accelerated digital transformation, creating a need for relevant and personalized experiences. Now is the time, more than ever, for CMOs and CIOs to collaborate to deliver tangible business outcomes.”

Sumit Virmani, CMO, Infosys

Accelerated digital transformation

Traditionally, IT leaders reacted to uncertain times by hunkering down and going into efficiency and cost-cutting mode…the leading firms we study lean into constant change and uncertainty. At these advanced firms, CIOs are stepping up to help their firms transform customer and employee experiences, leverage digital without becoming a slave to technology, and harness the explosive power of ecosystems for innovation, disruption, and growth.

Brian Hopkins, VP, Principal Analyst, Forrester

“U.S. CEOs are resilient and remain optimistic as they continue to rise to meet the challenges and opportunities resulting from the pandemic and ongoing economic uncertainty…they are accelerating the digital transformation of their businesses, but also see a multitude of risks apart from the pandemic – with talent risk becoming front and center in the current environment.”

Paul Knopp, KPMG U.S. Chair and CEO

“The value of digital channels, products and operations is immediately obvious to companies everywhere right now…this is a wake-up call for organizations that have placed too much focus on daily operational needs at the expense of investing in digital business and long-term resilience. Businesses that can shift technology capacity and investments to digital platforms will mitigate the impact of the outbreak and keep their companies running smoothly now, and over the long term.”

Sandy Shen, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

The role of the CIO

“CIOs and CISOs have such a unique opportunity right now in driving the enterprise forward. Be that through shaping corporate culture or guiding the company through their digital journey, technology leaders have a strong upper hand…it’s a great time for the enterprise but it’s also a great time for technology leaders to position themselves for space in the boardroom. This is a career-defining moment.”

Hunter Muller,  President and CEO, HMG Strategy

“Our job as leaders is to deeply understand what our business model is, how it works, how efficient it is, and then introduce and leverage technologies, and get everybody rallied around adopting them in a way that helps mitigate any issues associated with that.”

Mike Kelly, CIO, Red Hat

Innovation and progress

“Technologies are being stretched to their limits…nontraditional approaches will enable the next rebound of innovation and efficiency.”

Daryl Plummer, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

“Digital is completely transforming the IT operating model, and that means CIOs and CFOs need to work collaboratively…These business leaders need to accelerate new delivery models such as cloud and agile, optimize technology spend to fund new innovation, and boost financial agility to make resource decisions that are aligned with the speed of business.”

Sunny Gupta, CEO, Apptio

“To create a culture of innovation, we had to stop taking the orders and think less like renters and more like owners. Why run 15 different projects around a sales platform? Why not build one reusable set of capabilities?…We became more innovative when we started to build new solutions on reusable layers.”

Rick Rioboli, EVP & CIO, Comcast

For more business quotes, check out these quotes on innovation or this list of change management quotes on our change management blog.

WalkMe Team
By WalkMe Team
WalkMe pioneered the Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) for organizations to utilize the full potential of their digital assets. Using artificial intelligence, machine learning and contextual guidance, WalkMe adds a dynamic user interface layer to raise the digital literacy of all users.