As we all work through the various impacts of the novel coronavirus – from the depressing and the serious to the merely inconvenient – it's vital that as much industry and business as is safe and possible continues. When thousands are dying, it can seem trite to even consider this, but it is not only important in terms of us having a vibrant post-virus world; IT is an important contributor to sustaining our lives and communications today, and also a vital element to finding ways to overcome the virus.
But that business-continuation demands some very different approaches and thinking; therefore, whenever possible over the coming weeks I'll be asking executives from IT vendors and partners to discuss their thoughts around the marketing changes, challenges, and - yes - also the opportunities that this pandemic is creating. I've called this series "Marketing in Challenging Times" - that's not to skirt around the issue of COVID-19, but to acknowledge the fact that the "challenging times" are likely to extend well beyond the point at which the pandemic is controlled, contained, or beaten...and also of course perhaps some of the lessons-learned and silver-linings-discovered will continue as well. Everyone brings their own perspectives to these conversations; as a minimum we hope they are cathartic, and at best they might provide a new idea or inspiration.
My guest for this discussion is Cathy Southwick, the CIO of Pure Storage. Cathy's non-pure-marketing take (no pun intended!) makes an interesting addition to this series. While emphasizing the type of flexibility that she has found refreshingly common from all parties in her sphere (Pure, its clients, her vendors, etc.) in these disconcerting and demanding times, she also reminds us that Working From Home is not simply a binary choice; Pure Storage has always had WFH capabilities but nonetheless it also previously retained a bias to its offices as the key place for personal collaboration and engagement - something it has had to re-think rapidly, and which Cathy says may stay 're-thought' well into the future.