Fall is well underway, and that means more than just chilly weather, college football and pumpkin spice – many of our clients are in the throes of planning for 2017. While reviewing what’s foremost on our clients’ minds as they look towards January, we noticed a few key themes in the Seattle market.
The topic of how to leverage digital technology to provide a deeper, more impactful customer experience and provide mobility, flexibility, and security for employees to support growth goals is top of mind for many of our clients. We have found this to be especially true in industries that have been slower to adopt new technologies, such as healthcare and banking. Customers now expect an Amazon or Uber-like experience from all the companies they interact with, and our clients are exploring what that means and how to define digital for themselves. More than in previous years, we’re also seeing our clients’ technology teams drive the conversation about customer-centric technologies —this demonstrates to us that the IT group is shifting to become more of a strategic partner with the business.
Cybersecurity and Cloud Infrastructure Must Keep Pace
Data breaches and security attacks continue to make news, and our clients are still keenly focused on improving their security posture and adapting to an ever-evolving threat landscape. With companies adopting new technology at a rapid clip, the CISOs we work with are anxious about their security programs keeping pace. Cybersecurity also is a growing focus with our private equity clients, as the impact of security issues to portfolio valuation becomes more defined. At the same time, our clients are also continuing to pursue cloud platforms as a way to speed up integrations after acquisitions and leverage the same infrastructure across multiple products or business units. This helps them to control costs as well as provide a differentiated experience to customers.
People and Processes Must Change
Major technology changes are also causing our clients to consider the impacts to their people and processes, and how to make these changes sustainable over the long term. Our clients need to make sure they have the right people in place to support growth, that teams are receiving the training they need to be successful, and that business processes support the rollout of new technologies. Org design and change management are hot topics for many of our clients. A shift to a more customer-centric, versus transaction-centric focus is also driving some of our clients to look at their KPIs, people, and training needs. More and more, our clients are proactively seeking to incorporate organizational change management as part of their technology adoption process, versus considering it an add-on or “nice to have.”
As you embark on your 2017 planning efforts, what topics are top of mind for you? What pieces and programs do you need to have in place to make next year a success? Let us know in the comments.