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Culture, tech woes await executives building long-term work models: report – CIO Dive

Dive Brief:

  • Almost one-quarter of executives say creating the right technology or infrastructure is a top challenge when developing an operating model, according to a report from consulting firm West Monroe. The company’s Quarterly Executive Poll, released Tuesday, surveyed 150 executives.

  • For 60% of leaders, building or maintaining company culture is a top hurdle while modeling long-term work plans, according to the report. More than half say they expect challenges in managing employee expectations once a final plan is decided or communicated. 

  • Suspense over the outcome of new work protocols won’t last long, as nearly half executives say their companies will have established norms and policies in place by this summer.

Dive Insight:

In shaping long-term operative plans, executives are balancing the needs of employees and customers as well as their own. But there are looming concerns about how key decisions will impact culture and technology. 

One-third of workers are already frustrated by the existing array of tech tools underpinning distributed work, data from Eagle Hill Consulting shows. For 44% of U.S. employees, the current set of workplace technology tools does nothing to make them feel happy in their job or makes their work harder. 

“A company’s underlying culture issues often hamper a successful rollout of new technology – a culture resistant to change or doesn’t foster collaboration and employee engagement,” said Melissa Jezior, president and CEO at Eagle Hill Consulting, in an email. 

Companies reaping the most value from tech investments have previously built an organizational culture “that is agile enough to adapt to and sustain change led by C-suite leaders,” said Jezior.

No matter how business leaders set up workplace technology in the long run, collaboration software will play a key role in connecting the evolving organization. U.S. executives who are planning new investments to support hybrid work say collaboration tools sit atop the priority list, according to data from PwC. 

Globally, the social software and collaboration market will grow by 17% to revenue of $4.4 billion, according to Gartner projections.

Company changes happening as a response to the pandemic elevated the profile of the CIO, transforming the executive role and expanding its scope. But technology change happening in the hybrid work aftermath “should be the purview of all C-suite leaders, not just the CIO,” said Jezior.

“Critical actions that people rely on every day from the company, such as the brand promise, employee experience, customer service, and accurate financial accounting, hinges on having a technology that can enhance delivery,” said Jezior.