The demand for ongoing transformation and innovation is going to continue to drive IT budgets into 2023. As a solution to the challenges of inflation, recession, geopolitical instability, and the broader economy, IT is seen as the way forward.
Research shows that more than half – 52 per cent – of organisations are expecting to increase spending in IT. Among those that have already commenced the transformation journey, that number rises to 67 per cent.
Transformation is broad, however, and what IT leaders will see as a priority for investment will be technologies that bring human-centricity to the experience of interacting with technology. What this comes down to is two priorities – helping staff work at maximum productivity and efficiency, and ensuring that they’re happy in their jobs.
As Forrester put it: recession fears and talent constraints make paying attention to existing employees more important than ever – deep within the “Great Resignation” and facing an unemployment rate of just 3.4 per cent, every member of the executive team is being tasked with grappling with the challenge of talent.
By deploying IT spending correctly, the CIO is in the best position to solve this issue. Lenovo research shows that 75 per cent of employees seek purpose-driven work, and that transformation spend can be most effectively deployed in delivering solutions that engage workers, free up focus time, and improve business outcomes by helping everyone to do their best work.
Priorities for human centricity
The first priority for CIOs is to understand that remote work is here to stay, and the focus needs to be on turning that into a strategic opportunity. The Forrester research suggests that four in ten hybrid-working companies will try and roll back that policy and doing so will backfire on them.
In contrast, Lenovo’s research reveals that investing in remote work offers advantages. Employees are more productive, and 78 per cent of employees report that having better collaboration technology has unlocked the opportunity to recruit a more diverse workforce. This has unlocked the opportunity to access broader skillsets. In this context, it’s no small wonder that 44 per cent of IT leaders plan on making investments in hybrid collaboration tools to improve remote communication.
Elsewhere, employees also want to believe in the work they’re doing, and this means being a good corporate citizen and investing in sustainable solutions. This needs to be a multi-faceted approach, including the use of renewable energy, leveraging technology that is energy efficient, and reducing waste by ensuring that technology is reparable and has a long life. Hybrid work has a role to play here, too, by helping to eliminate the energy-inefficient commute to work.
However, human centricity also means understanding how people work. This is because, in a hybrid work environment, there will be times where employees want to come into the office. There, they need both a seamless and superior experience. This means they need to be able to continue working as they had been at home, while also enjoying a superior working experience in the office. Communication between onsite and offsite employees also needs to be seamless, and for CIOs, this need to modernise the in-office experience will result in some IT projects. For example, Lenovo research shows that 32 per cent of companies have subscriptions to workplace collaboration tools that help manage IT-related tasks. CIOs might need to invest in further solutions to continue to strengthen the “work anywhere” experience.
Delivering human centricity needs holistic solutions
As the popular saying goes, too many cooks spoil the broth. The more individual pieces of technology and services that a company uses, the more likely it is to compromise the employee experience, as solutions don’t work seamlessly together. Vendor consolidation is expected to be a key theme for CIOs going into 2023.
For Lenovo, being able to provide an end-to-end solution to CIOs has been a key priority. By choosing a trusted partner to help streamline solutions, Lenovo promotes a superior human-centric experience in three ways:
Lead with a purpose-driven vision – Lenovo solutions equip employees with durable, repairable, energy-efficient technology, from individual devices right up to the datacentre solutions in the office.Super-charge collaboration – Lenovo solutions leverage AR devices, as well as smart platforms to allow for complex, rich real-time collaboration, screen, and device sharing.Support a trusted end-to-end technology partner – Lenovo solutions make Device-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service and custom cloud solutions from a single partner possible, allowing the organisation to consolidate their touchpoints and vendors.
A full 82 per cent of IT leaders want to work with technology that delivers on the value of the transformed workforce. This means technology that allows for human centricity, and, in 2023, it will mean the difference in hybrid work being a point of competitive advantage for the organisation.