Financial Services

CEOs' priorities are changing. A view into the company prevails this year, while growth rhetoric declines

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Managers of large companies are addressing sustainability much more than a year ago. Employees and, more recently, managing inflation were added to their list of priorities. The democratisation of technology is key to increasing productivity, but this first requires the implementation of business platforms and experts. In turn, a defined culture in the virtual environment and better internal application UX help to retain scarce employees. This is what our company Bell & Hurry does for us. Jan Antoš, Trask's Chief Technology Officer, spoke about current trends at the Trask Future Insight conference.

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CEOs of the world's largest companies indicated a significant shift in their priorities in the periodical Gartner survey this year. They want to address sustainability on many levels - whether it's employees, finance or the environment.

How to approach employees - paying more attention to them than to customers

The key message is that the proportion of CEOs who see growth as a top priority is declining (only 39 per cent of CEOs this year), and they currently find other issues more important. These mainly include concern for employees, which is a priority for 38 percent of CEOs. In stark contrast, only 6 percent of top managers cite customers as a priority.

What does this say about the nearest future of the business? It is easier for companies to sell their products and services than to ensure their production. Therefore, they need to focus on finding and retaining quality specialists. Unemployment is falling in the US and the rest of the Western world. People are leaving tech companies and launching their own startups.

When do qualified key experts leave their jobs? When they don't have prospects, when they don't see the purpose and do stupid, mind-numbing work. Fortunately, companies have a number of tools to increase employee satisfaction by making their work more meaningful.

These include technological tools. It's worth improving the UX of company apps to make them easy for employees to work with. The digitisation of internal processes is extremely important - precisely so that people do not spend time on mind-numbing repetitive activities.  And, last but not least, employees will appreciate the utmost transparency of decision-making. This is where good data can help as a clear guide to the decisions made.

From automation of activities to automation of decision-making

According to experts, 95% of decisions that currently use data will be at least partially automated by 2025. However, both people and technological tools must learn to work with these developments.

Even today, there are many processes and decisions that do not require human intervention - from programmatic advertising to algorithmic trading. At Uber Eats, for example, new drivers are only recruited by a computer. What has held back development so far are the people who feel they still have to make the decisions. If they can give up this illusion of control, the benefit will be decision-making based on data and not feelings. Especially since no one has any experience at all with today's situation. This doesn't necessarily mean deploying AI. It’s often a matter of completely trivial bits of software that sort things out for the manager.

Financial sustainability is linked to productivity

In a time of rising energy prices and high inflation, companies have become more concerned than ever about the sustainability of their profits. The key to this is productivity growth, achieved primarily through extensive process automation. But the bottleneck of automation is the capacity of the IT department. For automation to have a substantial impact on productivity, technology needs to be deployed at a large scale and across the entire organisation. IT can’t manage that – we need to put the technology and ability to create IT systems into the hands of everyone, and thus increase the company’s ability to automate itself enough to have a significant impact on its profitability.

Let’s look at a brief example from practice. At London's Heathrow Airport, one of the security technicians at the baggage belt created his own app that translated basic airport phrases into all sorts of languages. It accelerated his work to an incredible degree. His superiors noticed, and the airport distributed the app to all its employees on the concourse.

You probably wouldn't expect an airport security guard to come up with an IT solution useful for the whole company. But it is one of the increasingly likely scenarios of the future. According to Gartner, 67 percent of CEOs want some level of technology work to move to business units and less of it to stay in IT.

The environment is not just a pretty pendant

Companies strongly perceive the societal pressure to reduce the negative impacts of companies on the planet and society. And technology is clearly the tool most expected to help solve the problem.

It turns out that much more than optimizing one's own IT (as part of “GreenIT” activities), it helps when new technologies are used to make a company's business more efficient in a two-in-one style, while at the same time reducing the impact on the planet. Using resources more efficiently, generating less waste and using less energy helps a company save money and increase profits, while also reducing its carbon footprint, for example.

Technology is absolutely crucial in meeting current corporate priorities, and everyone, including CEOs, expects technology to help maintain and increase profits, retain quality employees and protect the planet. We see it the same way and have years of experience in solving problems with innovative technologies. We will be happy to help you with that too. E-mail us at

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