In an economic downturn, data still drives an organisation. Collaboration and workflows don’t stop; investors still expect a return, and organisations need to run efficiently. As you plan your business priorities, what data trends and digital best practices will keep your customers and employees happy?
Trend 1: Work from anywhere
Over the last 18 months, data-driven platforms helped us simplify our lives and work from anywhere. We’ve seen various sectors and industries allow employees—some for the first time—to work remotely during this transformation.
As our ability to work anywhere extends, requirements for balancing day-to-day collaboration, creativity and productivity will also increase. Video streaming, chats and broadcasts already help us achieve collaboration. But what about creativity? How do you solve complex or creative problems or craft a strategy virtually? Meanwhile, productivity (individual or as a team) must remain consistent or improve, no matter where your employee works from. How do you empower your teams to stay engaged and succeed?
Addressing the challenges above requires you to delineate between remote and in-office work. While some tasks can be completed off-site, other tasks work better in person. Think of when you onboard a new client. A face-to-face session typically offers clearer communication, fewer interruptions and a stronger kickoff to a lasting relationship. Deciding where to complete tasks, as well as which tasks are optional or mandatory, is crucial to your team’s long-term success.
Lastly, an effective work anywhere strategy means making people the central focus. This requires using data to conscientiously make the best use of your team’s skills without ignoring cultural differences, such as language or geographic location.
To achieve the right balance, consider the following questions as a starting point:
- What’s the best balance for collaboration, creativity and productivity?
- What are some of the cultural differences represented across your workforce?
- What inclusion concerns do your employees face today?
Once you can answer these, you’ll have a solid foundation to move forward.
Trend 2: Pandemic practices are here to stay
During my career, I’ve learned that adapting successfully to changing needs requires swift acknowledgement of the problem(s) followed by action.
The transportation, travel, personal and consumer service industries suffered the most during the pandemic. Even as revenue streams slowly recover, expenses still can’t be ignored. How do you balance capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operating expenses (OPEX)? And which projects do you postpone so you can survive as global markets reopen? The best answers can’t be addressed in this short post, but one is to capitalise on research and development (R&D) projects to determine the true value of future investment. Another might be to shift application infrastructure spending to the cloud or spread certain expenses over a quarter instead of a per-project basis.
By contrast, if you’re a telecommunications, video conferencing or movie streaming company that saw a surge in usage and transactions, you’re among the lucky ones who thrived during this difficult period. Your next business challenge may centre on providing peak services while scaling to keep up with your business growth and staying ahead of any technological gaps to accommodate growing usage.
Lastly, if you run a mainstream restaurant or franchise, the pandemic forced you to make significant changes at lightning speed. How did you make your products and services available? You probably integrated an online menu and implemented open-window or curbside pick-up to satisfy hungry customers.
In all these examples, scale and agility were two major technology pivots that could help address a sluggish economy or tackle dramatic growth—all while anticipating any security issues before they happen.
If you’re short on time, the solution is sometimes easier than you think. For example, digital transformation could mean tapping into your data management capabilities and applying new technology to modernise your environment and scale your business. Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that data plays a huge role.
Trend 3: Data is everywhere, so why not use it?
Data is everywhere, from the supply chain to the stakeholder’s world and across silos and multiple clouds. Therefore, integrating it from various sources becomes increasingly important. However, the data you need is sometimes buried in documents, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software or finance and accounting spreadsheets. And the information technology (IT) department may not have the tools that make data readily accessible for business insights and decision-making.
To keep your competitive edge, you must focus on driving efficiencies, convenience and ease of use now and in the future. Leveraging technologies such as machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) and visualisation tools are also key in drawing predictive and prescriptive insights. After all, features and functions on a tangible product are only as effective as the technologies and data that power them.
Digital transformation is no longer an option. Thriving in today’s free-enterprise economy means embracing digitisation and navigating it successfully. You can start with robust data and cloud strategies that help you create an agile, seamless and responsive environment for years to come.
Contact Pythian to take the next steps in transforming your digital strategy.
You can hear more from Paul at the Women in IT Summit Canada on October 20 2021. To find out more and register for your free place, please click here