We’ve compiled insights from industry sessions at Workday Rising and summarized takeaways from key conversations. While each industry has unique features, common themes emerged in these sessions and fall within five broad areas of opportunity that will make organizations stronger.
1. Collaboration. “IT doesn’t come to the table by itself, it comes to the table with HR, it comes to the table with finance, and we as a group say this is the investment we need to make,” said Todd Carter, CIO and chief digital officer for the city of Baltimore. Collaboration will power future transformation projects, decision-making, and investments, as well as addressing pressing issues such as staff shortages.
2. Data, data, data. “We’re really focused on getting the right information to decision-makers more quickly, so they can make informed decisions,” said Doug Schosser, chief accounting officer at KeyBank. Each conversation had a hyperfocus on data and how leaders can bring it all together to reveal insights from a single source of truth.
3. Technology transformation. “When we say transformation, most people panic because most people are creatures of habit,” said Miloš Topić, vice president of IT and chief digital officer at Grand Valley State University. “But is it better to be in a little discomfort now than be in a world of pain years from now?” Industry leaders must be transformation experts whose organizations use the right technology to be more agile—rapidly changing their products, services, operations, and processes.
4. Customer experience. “We have a number of first-generation learners, and many times they don’t have the support systems or the institutional knowledge to be able to navigate complex systems,” said Kristen Constant, vice president and CIO at Iowa State. “Whatever we can do to make it easier and simpler for them, the better.” Customers across industries—whether they’re students, citizens, or patients—expect the same seamless digital experience in all facets of their lives.
5. Employee experience. “Leveraging Workday’s technology will allow us to first get the basics right, which will simplify things for employees and put data at the fingertips of managers,” said Maryjo Charbonnier, Kyndryl CHRO. With a tighter labor market amid the “Great Resignation,” organizations can focus on employee experience to attract and retain talent: to ensure employees are engaged and have access to cutting-edge technology and projects and to improve inclusion and belonging.
In our industry keynotes, Workday executives, customers, and partners delivered insights and methods to navigate change for industries. Below, we’ve summarized the innovative ideas from five of these industries: financial services, healthcare, higher education, public sector, and professional and business services.
For Higher Education, the Future Starts With Data
To plan for where higher education is going, institutions should first look at the disruption of the past two years. According to Roy Mathew, national practice leader for higher education at Deloitte, the pandemic not only forced colleges to move quickly to continue their missions of learning and community, but also provided the opportunity to break traditional silos and question orthodoxies.
This sea change will help institutions prepare for future trends, such as catering to the different needs of all learners, meeting the digital expectations of students, and building trust in higher education. One key to preparing for these trends—a hyperfocus on data.
“It all starts with data,” said Mathew. “It’s about getting the right data into the right hands to make the right decisions at the right time.”
To enable a digital transformation, colleges and universities will also have to lean into change management and transform their systems. “It’s important to digitize and modernize,” said Miloš Topić, vice president of IT and chief digital officer at Grand Valley State University. “One of the things higher ed struggles with is we live at home in a particular [modern] way. And then we come to work and have to make three carbon copies of the same form to go to interoffice mail.”
Modernizing technology and processes will also help institutions meet students where they are, in terms of both the type of device they prefer to learn on and their education journey. This change will level the playing field. “Reaching all learners is extremely important,” said Kristen Constant, vice president and CIO at Iowa State.
For Kathy Ulibarri, CEO of the Collaboration for Higher Education Shared Services (CHESS), higher ed transformation will free up institutions to focus on their connection to the local workforce and community.
“We have to innovate together, work together, and get past the competitive nature of our work,” said Ulibarri.
Patients Are Front and Center in Healthcare of the Future
“The future of health is happening,” said Mark Perlman, managing director of Deloitte, as he welcomed healthcare leaders from across the country to the healthcare industry keynote. Perlman highlighted how challenges exacerbated by the pandemic have catalyzed the evolution of the healthcare industry. Developments in patient-centric care that were dimly on the horizon in 2020 have accelerated by more than a decade, Perlman said, sending a clear message to healthcare industry leaders: The time for transformation is now.
Perlman estimates around 80% of care today is focused on treating sickness rather than preventing it. To reduce costs and improve the clinical experience, it is imperative that healthcare organizations shift toward promoting health. According to Perlman, organizations that leverage cloud-based technologies such as automation and advanced analytics will be better positioned to drive innovation and enhance patient care in the coming years.
Leaders from Sentara Healthcare and Northeast Georgia Health System joined Perlman onstage to share their journeys on the path to digital acceleration. Stephanie Schnittger, vice president of corporate finance at Sentara, described Sentara’s previous process as a “quilt of systems” that could not operate as “a single source of truth.”
By consolidating its disparate legacy systems onto the Workday platform, Sentara has already seen a 65% reduction in its item master and is on the path to reducing its 10-day close to six days, freeing up time and resources for more valuable and strategic activities. Northeast Georgia Health System CIO Chris Paravate said that using Workday has increased collaboration between teams such as finance and HR to address pressing issues such as staffing shortages.
While attendees agreed that patients have always been at the center of healthcare, Perlman noted that legacy systems can often hinder clinicians from delivering proactive care. Cloud-based technology ushers in a new era for healthcare organizations, empowering teams with automation to spend less time on administrative tasks and focus on what really matters: their patients.
Align Leadership to Drive Public Sector Transformation
During a public sector keynote session, leaders from the city of Baltimore and Accenture discussed how building shared commitment across different departments reduced silos and led to simplified processes, greater transparency, and cost savings.
Kicking off the session, Ryan Gaetz, managing director at Accenture, said, “No matter how complex an organization, if we apply small, incremental, continuous change over time, we’ll have a far greater impact and lasting change in the organization than a single moment will.”