It might seem ironic: An industry that’s all about cutting-edge technology has low confidence in its own operational tools. But it also makes sense, given the industry’s evolution. “Tech organizations start as young, scrappy companies really concerned about costs. So they plug holes in the dam, getting the cheapest best-of-breed solutions,” Glover says. “But you can’t scale that.”
As early adopters, fledgling tech companies have taken a function-by-function, case-by-case approach to enterprise management technology—a people solution here, a finance solution there. “That leads to a lot of different point solutions, and the companies are collecting data from all of them but not tying that data all together,” Joseph says.
A single, unified system can tap data from across the entire enterprise to inform business decisions. And it can interface easily and seamlessly with other solutions. “This is a systems change but also an organizational change,” says Joseph.
Lack of data certainly isn’t the problem. The tech industry continuously collects data on its products, services, and customers. Where they lag is in data interpretation, Joseph says. “This is where AI and ML are so powerful because technology companies are sitting on the greatest amount of data out there. They just haven’t been able to tap into it.”
A central source of truth for data enables a tech organization to identify and deliver the products and services its customers need. By leveraging AI and ML, these companies can, for example, uncover the people skills they have and determine how best to use those skills to drive better business outcomes. AI and ML can tackle important yet time-draining tasks such as managing cash receipts or closing the books, freeing up human talent for higher-level work.
“If it’s not a unified system, there will be cracks that hurt the business,” Glover says. “And that ultimately will lead to lost revenue and unhappy customers.”
Empowering Tech Talent
Tech layoffs have dominated headlines in recent months, but demand for tech talent still exceeds supply. In a Gartner survey conducted in late 2022, 86% of CIOs said they faced more competition for qualified candidates, and 73% worried about IT talent attrition.
To land top talent, tech companies must “meet workers where they are,” Glover advises. In part, that means adopting cloud-based platforms to give tech talent what they want: workplace flexibility. Tech talent overwhelmingly prefers working remotely over moving for a job, a 2022 McKinsey survey finds. Amid high turnover rates and the steep costs of replacing workers, the tech industry needs enterprise tools that can help attract and retain talent.