Global data identifies the action plan for business transformation around people, policies and tools
London, October 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Unit4, a leader in enterprise cloud applications for mid-market service organizations, today announces the findings of its second annual Business of the Future Index.
It surveyed 3,450 respondents in 12 global markets to understand how business performance over the past 12 months has been affected by the pandemic and reveals the extent to which changes in people strategies, company policies and technology adoption have accelerated. It also identifies business priorities for the coming year and examines the key challenges facing organizations as the world enters a difficult economic period. The findings show a direct link between the benefits of embracing accelerated change and improved business performance, and highlight specific areas where action must be taken if organizations are to remain competitive.
- The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic: Over nine in 10 organizations report major acceleration across their business in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This acceleration includes digital transformation efforts (52%), flexible work practices (51%) and the adoption of software and tools to aid productivity and employee experience (45%).
- Accelerated change growth: Those who have embraced the change have seen clear benefits including better digitalization of the workplace (80%), improved wellbeing (74%), stronger team collaboration (73%) and improved customer experience/ users (72%).
- Become more resilient: Many organizations have seen increased workforce resilience over the past year, with 49% able to recruit from a wider geographic area. Those who report high approval of workflow automation and/or real-time reporting felt this positive staff benefit even more (54% and 52% respectively).
- Pilot or fall behind: For organizations that have not focused on rapid growth since the pandemic, only 28% report exceeding their 2021 goals, compared to the global average (51%) that embraced such changes.
- Future business priorities: Attracting and retaining talent (62%), building new products and services (59%) and digital transformation (59%) were cited as top priorities for the next 12 months.
- Challenges ahead: To meet these priorities, there is an accelerating need to improve talent strategies (51%), respond to competitive pressures (49%) and change the way organizations operate and are structured (45%).
Action plan for change: people, policies, tools
The index shows that there is no room for complacency when it comes to embracing change and even organizations that performed well in 2021 cannot afford to ease the pace of transformation. Similar to the 2021 Index – which identified the need to focus more on people, alongside profit and productivity – the 2022 findings highlight challenges around people, policies and tools as organizations prepare to address their business priorities for the next 12 months. next.
Within each area, the Index highlights priorities where organizations can target their action plans for accelerated change:
- People: Flexible working strategies require further improvements to avoid the departure of employees to employers with more attractive working conditions. Leaders also need to work harder to show that they understand their teams. For example, 80% of executives believe that employee well-being has improved in 2021, compared to only 68% of employees.
- politics: Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) and diversity are named in the Index as areas requiring further action, as poor ESG credentials are seen as a factor affecting the ability to attract talent. This is compounded by another challenge – the ability to attract talent from a mix of generations – which is a key reason for the increased focus on diversity.
- Means: To respond to competitive pressures and adapt organizational structures, there is still much room to adopt technologies such as the cloud, data management and real-time reporting tools, workflow automation and AI/ Machine Learning.
“As with any crisis, the pandemic showed that organizations that were prepared to be more innovative and progressive in their people and technology strategies, as well as company policies, came out ahead in terms of business performance,” it said. Mike EttlingCEO, Unit 4. “Looking forward to 2023, businesses around the world will face a host of pressures such as geopolitical issues, inflation and rising energy prices, as well as continued competition for talent. The ability to Adapting to such challenges is essential, with no room for hesitation or inertia, as it can have a lasting impact on future performance.”
Based on the data included in this year’s Index, organizations that strike a balance between fiscal responsibility in uncertain economic times with the demand for innovation are more likely to achieve stronger business performance. The Business Future Index 2022 provides a framework to justify the business case for supporting accelerated change and points to a specific action plan where investments can be targeted to deliver tangible benefits.
- A copy of the white paper, an interactive ebook and accompanying infographics of the report are available for download here.
Unit 4 commissioned independent technology market research specialist Vanson Bourne to undertake the quantitative research on which this report is based. They interviewed a total of 3,450 respondents in May and June 2022from 12 regions: USA (1000), Canada (150), UK (400), Germany (400), France (200), Netherlands (250), Norway (200), Denmark (100), Sweden (200), Belgium (150), Australia (200) and Singapore (200). Respondents were from across the private and public sectors (including IT and technology; business and professional services; education; and charities and not-for-profits), and from organizations with 200-20,000 employees. Respondents from all departments and seniority levels were allowed to participate. There are also references to all historical data conducted using the same methodology in 2021. Findings from this research program can be found here.
About unit 4
Unit4’s next-generation enterprise solutions power many of the world’s most people-centric mid-market organizations. Our state-of-the-art cloud platform, ERPx, brings together finance, procurement, project management, HR and FP&A capabilities into a unified cloud platform that shares real-time information and is designed with a powerful, people-centric approach to so that employees benefit from better insight and become more effective and increasingly engaged. It supports rapid and continuous change by providing individualized customization for customers at scale, providing the right tools to unify processes across their organization and connect their people. Unit4 serves more than 6,000 clients globally including, Bravida, Havas, Migros Aare, Americares, Save the Children International, Action Against Hunger, Metro Vancouver, Forest Research, Southampton City Council, Selkirk CollegeFTI Consulting and Surrey County Council.
For more information please visit https://www.unit4.com/, follow us on Twitter @Unit4global, or visit our LinkedIn page
Global Communications Manager, Unit 4
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