Digital transformation is obligatory in 2022. The technology solution market is booming. Automation proves necessary for business growth, and CIO responsibilities are increasing. As business infrastructures and cultures change due to growing hybrid and cloud models, CIOs must rethink their investments and partnerships with service providers to meet the current and future needs of the enterprise. As they plan for the next five years, it is clear that technology must provide for both user and client experiences, be simple to use, easily integrated, have clear data visibility, and adhere to usual cost-savings initiatives. To remain competitive, CIOs must invest in new technologies - but with the market rife with options, how do these decision-makers find the best solution to fit their business's specific needs?
When it comes to integrating IT into the enterprise, there is no need for CIOs to “reinvent the wheel” anymore. Instead, they must consider their current ROIs and calculate achievable ambitions for the next five years. Today, the focus is on ease of use for both customers and employees. Improved UX has proven to reduce attrition (currently up by 20% compared to pre-pandemic statistics) and decrease bottlenecks for going live with mergers and acquisitions. Digital CX allows for seamless transactions and experiences that emulate current in-store shopping habits and behaviors, such as using Augmented Reality to try-on clothes virtually instead of in-person and virtual advisors for assistance.
Using tech to protect against volatile markets
After the last two and a half years, businesses should plan for the unexpected. CIOs are investing in new technologies that safeguard against volatile markets caused by the pandemic. Data Analytics and Journey Mapping are crucial to tapping into the continuous data explosion born from rapid digitization, alongside the deployment of Machine Learning and Intelligent Automation to filter data and provide structured actionable insights.
In 2022, trade wars and supply chain disruption are affecting prices and supplies dramatically, meaning CIOs can no longer buy from singular vendors. Companies have reported that their inventory purchases have dropped from nearly 50% of their inventory per vendor to 20%. Incumbent vendors are left with a requirement to replace lost business and to make up for revenue shortfalls from their installed customer base. Conversely, this shift presents challengers with the perfect opportunity to establish new business. Whether this multi-sourcing will endure once the supply chain issues have been resolved remains to be seen. However, vendors have an opportunity to develop relationships, win business, and demonstrate their capabilities by improving SLA management.
However, CIOs are selective when investing in automation-related technologies. The adoption rate dropped from 30% in 2020 to 20% in 2021 - most likely because it takes nearly a year to understand if new automation is achieving ROI after integration. As a result, CIOs are wary of choosing new initiatives. In response, vendors have designed their solution capabilities to be well-rounded, offering end-to-end, easily integrable technologies that fit seamlessly into current infrastructure and tech stacks and guard against volatility.
As digital data collection continues to explode rapidly, there is an urgent requirement to systematize the information. Data Analytics and Journey Mapping play a key role, alongside Machine Learning and Intelligent Automation to filter, define and provide structured, actionable insights that drive results from unstructured data and improve CX, EX, and mitigate The Great Resignation movement.
Tackling poor employee retention rates
Attrition is at an all-time high, with the annual employee turnover rate up by 20% from pre-pandemic averages. Working from home during Covid introduced new practices, lifestyles, and ways of working that - for the most part - suited employees. They enjoyed the flexibility, citing that it’s easier to balance work with their personal life, and 44% of workers said that getting their work done and meeting deadlines was more manageable. 72% stated that working from home has not affected their ability to advance in their job, and 78% declared that they’d like to continue working from home indefinitely.
CIOs are facing a difficult challenge. Increasing demands and volume of tasks allotted to IT teams is overwhelming the department, leaving staff with responsibilities that often fall outside of their remit, causing frustration and fatigue. 57% of our respondents stated that finding, training and keeping talent poses a serious threat to their projects due to a lack of staff and resources. The talent shortage reveals a lack of internal developers with appropriate IT skills who can work with the data scientists. They are losing talent to other industries, and many are trying to accommodate employee preferences by finding a balance between employees who want to work from home and from the office.
In the current climate, keeping and hiring new talent to fill these voids is proving unsuccessful when competitors or other industries offer better incentives and higher salaries. It costs employers 33% of a worker’s annual salary to replace them if they leave, which includes advertising job postings, recruitment agencies, screening, interviews, and hiring. Yet, almost half of employees would take another job for a 20% pay raise. Therefore, it is more cost effective to increase current staff pay than spend the time, money and energy into finding, training and retaining new talent - which is a risky endeavor in itself, as one-third of new employees quit after about six months.
The most commonly cited reasons for leaving an employer are poor management practices, lack of career development, and poor cultural fit. According to TeamStage, inadequate employee training accounts for a massive 40% of resignations. 40% leave their jobs because of the poor performance of their seniors, including insufficient communication, unclear job descriptions that fail to define responsibilities, inadequate staffing levels to cover workloads, and an inability to provide feedback on performance all impacts attrition. 24% of employees are actively interviewing for a new job when they feel unrecognized by their boss, and over 70% of leavers feel compelled to move for the sake of career advancement.
Fortunately, simple changes can result in quick fixes. Almost every employee (96%) stated that empathy is important to retaining them. Companies with remote working programs have higher retention rates, and a good onboarding program results in 69% of employees staying at least three years. Building a solid foundational onboarding program with continuous training and development opportunities for new hires can inspire retention and foster better leaders.
It is in a company's best interest to:
Develop current employees,
Implement better onboarding processes,
Ensure better management support,
Declare clear career development paths,
Have clear communication between management and staff,
Provide performance feedback.
Investing in and creating a total CX
A decentralized infrastructure, along with understaffed teams, causes friction between departments. When different divisions want to implement conflicting solutions, time, money, and precious manpower is wasted trying to integrate disparate technologies, fix disjointed processes and alleviate the stress of confused employees. To centralize operations, CIOs insist that IT must be included in the overall decision-making process, stating that creating and evaluating project methodologies must be aligned with both IT and business initiatives.
Communicating the digital transformation roadmap across the company ensures that every employee understands the process, their job role requirements, and purpose in both the journey and delivery. Training and educating other business functions allows IT to be the central point to maintaining standardized structures to hit benchmarks and goals. Ideally, cross-functional teams built with data scientists permit technologies such as AI and Data Analytics to create and increase interoperability.
2021 was a record-breaking year for M&A, with nearly $5 trillion globally invested into collaborative data platforms to streamline multiple tech stacks from cross-enterprises. Today, CIOs are focused on investing in Hybrid Workplace Enablement Tools and end-to-end CX solutions. Building tech that utilizes intelligent data and analytics capabilities allows enterprises to understand their CX on a macro level, make intelligent expansion decisions, and evaluate and integrate larger M&A infrastructures to provide seamless experiences for employees and customers.
Transitioning back to in-office work is no simple feat. Businesses must ensure that their current digital architecture allows for frictionless transitions between office, hybrid and remote work in preparation for potential future pandemics, to cater to a workforce that prefers flexibility, and to facilitate communication between onsite and remote workers without compromising security. In addition, enhanced employee user experience tools improve employee retention rates by increasing productivity, decreasing downtime, and reducing costs. Most importantly, when employees are taught how to use the program correctly, they require less remedial training, make fewer mistakes, and produce faster results.
In the first quarter of 2022, workers’ development centered around management, methodology, and process, with IT salaries projected to double as their skills become more in demand for growing business needs. Breaking away from traditional siloed mindsets, teams must view their organization as a single entity and have a growth mindset. Culturally, businesses need to be able to make quick decisions, not succumb to analysis paralysis, and be comfortable making decisions in ambiguity. Enterprise structures should be constructed as a safe place for employees to voice their opinions, engage in discussions and unite in commitments, as internal bureaucracy inhibits agility. Therefore, strong leaders who uphold a unified belief that teams can experiment, fail (fast) and learn warrants success.
Tools and tech to support IT integration
Quick, agile and streamlined data allows for better decision-making, more in-depth value insights, and empowered employees. During the deployment stage, Data Insight Software, Data Science, Machine Learning platforms, Journey Mapping, Task Mining, and Process Mining have proven to be high on the CIOs investment agenda. Our CIO respondents revealed that their current, active projects and priorities included:
Integrating transactional systems,
Changing governance styles to process mining and analytics,
Utilizing Data Science to drive cost-savings,
Investing in Digital Transformation, Applications, AI, and predictive technology,
Integrating automation systems for CX and EX,
Improving CX through conversational AI, customer dashboards, and machine learning,
Multiple data source insights,
Cloud-based Master Data Platform,
Journey to the cloud,
Overall system upgrades,
Detailed customer analytics and insights,
Emerging technologies roadmap,
Cleaning data stored in servers.
Business-vendor relationships are imperative for automation, integration, and technology upgrades. Finding the right partnerships will help build a solid foundation for a new, improved ecosystem that serves the company, its employees, and its customers. As organizations progress along their transformation journey and occasionally veer off course somewhere along the lines, more questions naturally emerge.
Only 40% of mature companies have scaled their digital transformation across the entire enterprise. At CIO Select, we are committed to addressing why scaling and digital transformation is so challenging, how to avoid some of the most common pitfalls, and how to generate the best results. With so many lessons to learn, we are bringing together various executives to incite these conversations. Centering around four key points, our discussion will include:
How can you simplify and create a frictionless customer experience through integration and 360 viewpoints?
How can you retain and upscale your workforce, sharing retention benchmarks and ideas amongst your peers?
What is your organization’s appetite for disruption, and how are you driving the highest value and ROI to the business?
How to leverage AI and Data Fabrics to drive informed decision-making and strengthen business outcomes?
Are you facing some of the aforementioned questions in your organization? Perhaps they are resonating with some of the conversations you are having internally?
CIO Select is a premium invitation-only event built for today’s most senior-level CIOs and digital transformation leaders. We focus on innovation and process excellence. By attending the event, you will have the opportunity to benchmark against your peers, explore possible solutions to address some of your project challenges, and gain critical insights.
More than market leading content:
Restricted to 50 executives to ensure an intimate, closed-door virtual setting
By Invite Only: Participation is strictly limited to executives from leading corporations to facilitate true peer-level networking
Strategic Content: The intellectual content of the conference program is designed specifically for the seniority and maturity of the participants
Tailored Itinerary: Only attend the benchmark discussions and meet the peers aligned with your current business objectives
Cut out the noise of a crowded market. Meet only with senior solutions providers to discuss your strategy needs.
There is no debate; automation and digital technology are now the industry standard. Transformation is visible across industries, and the lines between different services are blurring. Providing an integrated service is paramount to an organization’s success, and CIOs must view their businesses from beyond the “services” prism. Systems, technology, and staff must possess the agility to contextualize integrations. As flexibility reigns supreme, leaders must align their aspirations to face The Great Resignation head-on by incentivizing current employees with better onboarding, training, pay, and empathy.
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