Article: Organizations are doubling down on tech to thrive in the new normal: John Brownridge

HR Technology

Organizations are doubling down on tech to thrive in the new normal: John Brownridge

The forward-looking organizations are trying to determine not only how to recover, but how to thrive in the new normal. And they are looking hard at how technology can be leveraged on almost every front imaginable, says John Brownridge, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, in an interaction with People Matters.
Organizations are doubling down on tech to thrive in the new normal: John Brownridge

John has been a principal at Deloitte Consulting since 2007, where his primary focus is the Digital Organization and HR Transformations. John is a thought leader on what The Future of Work and The Digital Enterprise means for The Future of HR and The Digitization of HR. John authored Deloitte's point of view on Digital HR and the development of that work into the Future of HR, which incorporates components of Workforce Centricity and Experience, Digital Mindset Development, Advanced Technology Ecosystems and the Impacts to the HR Operating Model. He is now focused on delivering this vision with some of the world's leading brands.

John has been consulting since 1996 and he has served many large global companies in that time, such as: The Walt Disney Company, Disney Parks and Resorts, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Brothers, Apple, and more.

Prior to joining Deloitte, John was a consultant for IBM, PwC, and CMG. He graduated from Sheffield Hallam University.

Here are the excerpts.

Given the situation triggered by the pandemic, do we need a new tech infrastructure altogether that will help economies recover after COVID-19?

A tech infrastructure that provides a balance between experimentation, universal usage, automation, augmentation, and insights will help organizations position themselves to not only recover but to thrive in the new normal that is yet to be established. These characteristics will enable individuals, teams, and organizations to understand, manage, and measure – ultimately allowing them to drive performance, productivity, and innovation beyond current abilities.  

Organizations should take this time to understand their current tech architecture and determine what their “North Star” capability vision is for layers like Unified Engagement Platforms, Cloud Solutions and PaaS, Data and Analytics, and AI (RPA, Conversational AI, Sensing, and Insights).  Then, they must consider what complementary ecosystems they will need to deliver the required capabilities across these layers of technologies in order to drive desired business outcomes.

Organizations should take this time to understand their current tech architecture and determine what their 'North Star' capability vision is for layers like Unified Engagement Platforms, Cloud Solutions and PaaS, Data and Analytics, and AI

While tech can be an enabler for businesses to rebound from the crisis, how are different organizations leveraging tech innovations?

Today, we see most organizations coming out of the “respond” phase of the pandemic. Some are planning their recovery, while others are executing against that plan. But forward-looking organizations are trying to determine not only how to recover, but how to thrive in the new normal. They are heavily focused on scenario planning, collecting, and creating insight that will guide them towards better decisions; the bold moves they make today will deliver a competitive advantage tomorrow.  

Coming out of the pandemic, organizations are poised to leverage exponential technologies to rethink today’s work and how it gets done, resulting in job consolidation, job category redesign, and acceleration of automation and augmentation. However, leading organizations need to think beyond current work and work outcomes, looking ahead to ambitions and future work outcomes by leveraging AI.  The change with this approach is to leverage machine learning to drive continuous improvement toward ambitious future outcomes.

COVID-19 seems to be accelerating digital transformation in the workplace across industries. How are businesses fast-tracking their digital agenda amid this crisis?

Many aspects of digital transformation were in the works prior to COVID-19, but the current working environment necessitates that companies adapt now. To date, we have seen most organizations focus on how they can use AI to automate and/or supplement what humans are doing today. Coming out of the pandemic, leading organizations will pivot their thinking and investments in AI toward insights, collaboration, and teaming. This is a natural progression for organizations who want to mature their AI capabilities, moving from using AI primarily as a substitution strategy to an augmentation strategy – and ultimately to a collaboration strategy. 

Aside from the technical accelerations, organizations are racing to infuse a new digital mindset into the workforce by promoting agility, resilience, intentional collaboration, iteration, continuous innovation, and the concept of “Failing Fast and Learning Faster” to better support the digital journey.

How do you see the future of remote work and how will technologies evolve to make flexible work easier for employees and employers?

Organizations that expand their focus on worker well-being – from programs adjacent to work to designing well-being into the work itself – will help their workers not only feel their best but perform their best. Doing so will strengthen the tie between well-being and organizational outcomes, drive meaningful work, and foster a greater sense of belonging. Technologies will need to evolve to replace casual connections that would have been made in the hallway or cafeteria with personalized nudges, for example; these nudges can suggest new people to meet with that may be helpful to your career, project work, and more. Organizations may have to start challenging some orthodoxies to find new ways of working that promote well-being while driving business outcomes. To aid the virtual workforce, knowledge creation and sharing will become increasingly important to organizations, and the power of people and AI working together offers the greatest opportunity for creating and sharing knowledge in human history.

Leading organizations will pivot their thinking and investments in AI. This is a natural progression for organizations who want to mature their AI capabilities, moving from using AI primarily as a substitution strategy to an augmentation strategy

While more businesses are turning to tech to battle COVID, according to a study by Gartner, global IT spend will shrink 8% in 2020. What is your perspective on this?

Initial budget shrinkage is inevitable as organizations recover from the global pandemic, but it is also a big opportunity to take stock of what’s important. Companies are struggling to understand what they have, what can be utilized, fixed, leveraged, consolidated, integrated, and more. Yes, they are reassessing spend, but companies will also be looking hard at how technology can be leveraged on almost every front imaginable, especially remote learning, performance management, and workforce/talent marketplaces. Nothing sharpens the mind like a true choice, and organizations should focus on technologies that will make them even stronger as the economy rebounds. We’ve seen organizations double-down on robotics processing automation, virtual agents for shared services centers, and people technology to better enable remote work. This will ultimately make them more efficient in the coming quarters, and when expansion happens, they’ll be able to pour those efficiencies into their core business to serve their customers.

Aside from the technical accelerations, organizations are racing to infuse a new digital mindset into the workforce by promoting agility, resilience, intentional collaboration, iteration, continuous innovation, and the concept of 'Failing Fast and Learning Faster' to better support the digital journey

 

Read full story

Topics: HR Technology, #COVID-19, #ResetwithTech, #TheNewNormal, #TechHRIn

Did you find this story helpful?

Author


QUICK POLL

Post-COVID, which aspect of work will technology impact the most?

2 months free subscription
q_auto,f_auto/v1599122279/mag-september-2020.png

Subscribe to all new People Matters HR Magazine

.

Subscribe
And Save 59% plus Two months free

Subscribe now

Are we too remote for our employees?

Participate and get your free pulse report.

Participate Now