Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic’s stranglehold on the world, leaders increasingly embraced advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), for good reason. These capabilities are expected to offer between $9.5 trillion and $15.4 trillion in annual economic value.

Along the way, many executives found they had to overcome hefty cultural and organizational hurdles. Most have yet to apply the core practices, such as agile delivery methods and strong data practices, necessary to scale the technology successfully.

Simply put, while analytics and AI adoption were progressing, it took time.

Today, time is a luxury that leaders don’t have. COVID-19 has upended business as usual for communities and corporations, which must now strive first and foremost to save lives and livelihoods. Communities, specifically governments and healthcare workers, are leading efforts to support victims and their families and contain a virus that already has infected millions of people globally and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. At the same time, business leaders must protect their employees and customers while managing the economic repercussions in the wake of community lockdowns, consumer fear, and continual uncertainty. The decisions they make today may alter their company’s trajectory for years to come.