Jason Conyard had a front-row seat in the COVID-19 pandemic earlier than most IT leaders. Conyard traveled through India and later to Singapore in January and February 2020 and sensed the danger posed by China and making its way to other countries.

Conyard, then vice president of IT responsible for managing the technology experience of VMware’s 33,000 employees, began assessing his supply chains, anticipating the skills his colleagues would need, and confirming that the employees would be able to work from home were equipped. When the coronavirus hit the US in March, VMware flicked a switch and most of the office workers were told to work from home. Over night, 95% of VMware employees worked remotely, which is a big and rapid change in every way.

“The good news is that we already have a lot of the roles we need,” said Conyard, who was promoted to CIO in September after having worked for the software company for more than five years. “I had no appreciation …

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