By Chad Gates, Managing Director, Pronto Software Ltd
In the face of so much uncertainty, the need to manage every resource is fundamental to success. Having confidence in real-time data gives organisations the confidence and agility to act fast.
After a few years of rapid business change to meet the challenge of the pandemic head on, many business leaders are getting back to basics on the path towards new growth. As digital transformation continues to be a talking point for businesses, investment in key digital tools that deliver direct value has taken precedence. It takes accurate data to enable insights that put businesses on the right footing to adapt quickly and help minimise uncertainty for leaders and staff.
In our sixth annual CEO Institute Survey, we’ve seen that Australian CEOs across the country are eager to reinvent — without putting the business in jeopardy. They’re aiming to shift gears out of survival mode and seek out new opportunities for growth. In the face of constant change, they see that adaptability is key. As is retaining the experienced staff needed to put those plans into action.
Currently, data accuracy has become the number one need in almost every business. With so many external factors out of our control, we’ve seen many of our clients focused on deeper analysis in the things they do have power over. This includes waste reduction, improving cost efficiency and investigating new ways to improve supply chains. Making decisions on where to drive down costs is helped greatly when you have access to accurate data and insightful analytics.
More than data, let’s talk about people
It’s been widely discussed that the pandemic has triggered staff to consider how they feel about work and resetting their personal priorities. Two-thirds of CEOs we surveyed expect managing and retaining staff to be a big challenge this financial year.
At Pronto Software we have seen our own ‘reset’ in recent years. Historically, our staff turnover has been around 4% per year on average. Last year, we welcomed over 119 new employees to the business, amounting to over 20% — far less than the industry average during this time, but still very challenging given the need to quickly on-board so many. Through it all, we now have 22 more net staff than the year previous.
In addition, we have found great success through graduate programs to bring in dozens of talented young staff who are eager to help our business evolve and meet the future head on.
I feel our success in recruitment relates to the effort we make to offer our employees the leadership support and technical tools they need to execute and perform their work effectively. Giving staff access to great data through technology that can reveal and analyse information from across the business enables clear thinking and confident execution.
For example, take a sales rep or account manager out on the road visiting customers — having a consolidated database where they can manage all accounts and nurture their leads not only promotes confident execution, but breeds greater efficiency too — something we’ve really embraced in our latest Pronto Xi 770 update.
In a deeply stressful time, teams that lack this consolidated, data-driven support find themselves under more pressure. In the era before the pandemic, plenty of us might have carried a little more of that stress and did our best to keep things moving anyway. With talent retention being one of the keys to building long term success in business, giving your team the tools they need to thrive plays a major role in staff satisfaction.
What exactly are the tools that make great data?
It’s about wide visibility and clear insights. Numbers dumped into a giant spreadsheet is not good data, no matter how accurate the numbers may be. Data that is delivered into real-time dashboards with clear insights and visual cues are where real value emerges. Those questions of adaptability can be answered only when teams see where instincts are supported by facts, giving confidence to those important decisions on where to go next.
In our survey, we’ve seen that while one-third of CEOs indicated cloud computing as a lower priority this year, investing more into tools like Enterprise Resource Planning software are higher on the agenda. We suspect that for many this is about building on the foundations of recent transformations and ensuring they have the right tools to draw value from those wider changes of recent times. Doing these things on a Cloud-based platform is now seen as the norm, accounting for much of the diversion to other issues.
At Pronto Software we’ve also been working hard to build on our own foundations for the future. Over 95% of new customers and upgrades are opting into our fully managed, cloud hosted version of Pronto Xi, with only a few having specific needs for ongoing use of on-premises solutions. Our latest updates are focused on features in compliance, security and usability — foundations that underpin a continuous delivery architecture and cloud-first future.
There are challenges to be found whichever way you look but talking to CEOs we now know that their vision for strategic growth is stronger than ever. Carving the right path takes the right data tools to ensure more informed decisions can be made at speed with maximum confidence.
Originally published on Technology Decisions.