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Budgeting Technologies for 2023

Blog: Jim Sinur

If you thought budgeting was difficult in the past, this round of budget planning for 2023 would be like nailing jello to a tree. Yes, we will all be looking for ways to cut costs, mostly through smarter automation and intelligent selection of projects that promise to deliver improvements in costs, revenue, and customer satisfaction. This will require a more focused approach to goal-led efforts while dealing with everchanging goals. This will require focusing on goals while they are stable and developing super skills in situational analysis, decisioning, and actions. This post will focus on the technologies that contribute to goal focus and understanding the habits necessary to deliver competence in situational shifts. Consider investing in these five areas to get the most business bang for the buck, and don’t slack on innovation within these key technologies. 

Goal-Led Collaboration

According to surveys done by Harvard Business Review and Microsoft, organizations are not as good at goal-led approaches as they would like. Only 38% of executives said that their staff has a clear and ongoing understanding of the goals that count. These same executives said that key company activities are 27-44% out of alignment with goals. At the same time, meeting times have skyrocketed 252% in the last two years. This needs to change, and organizations need to change this trend even in stable times. Here are two case studies to prove the value of Goal-led Collaboration. The first is a B2B Supply Chain Case Study. The second is an approach to solving a difficult societal problem   Goal-led is proven and low cost and brings together the chaotic communications we deal with daily, and doesn’t require a big investment. Start with establishing a goal cycle and support it with good technology 

Management Cockpit with Focused Data Science

The era we live in is filled with unexpected events and new situations, putting a premium on situational analysis assisted by technologies such as situational AI, Data Mining, Machine Learning, Event Management, Real-Time Fast Boards, and Situational Management Cockpits. Going for all of these simultaneously might be a budget burden, so I would suggest starting with event/pattern recognition with Fastboards plus various kinds of learning/discovery technologies (AI & Mining). Practice decisioning alternatives by establishing management cockpits for dealing with emerging situations and scenario planning with responses. This is an evolving and emerging set of sciences that have gone from backroom planning to the front lines of business. A stronger link between strategy change and operations will be vital, along with a link with Goal-Led approaches.

Intelligent Automation 

A major contributor to cost reductions will be automation and its intelligent application of it through project selection and implementation. In addition, the automation will have to go from static automation to dynamic and smart situational automation. It means that automation will move from mechanical focused speed to intelligent and adaptive approaches that are sensing, learning, deciding, and acting properly at the moment without losing sight of the situational context. This will mean moving on from just Low-code and single-dimensional RPA to include smarter technologies that are goal-led as well. There are many forms of digital automation that might be considered here, but I would suggest driving the choices around the business outcomes of goals. Click here for a link to digital technologies organized by business outcome

Human Augmentation

It is clear we will need to get the most out of people to make progress. I would suggest organizations look from the outside in to get the most bang for their technologies. This means that customers, partners, and collaborations outside your organization get priority instead of just optimizing your cost per transaction. This means looking at the real end-to-end journey for all of your outside constituents first to impact their goals and your organization. This way, your processes are in synch with customer goals and journeys  Once the processes are in synch, your employees and contractors will have an easier go. However, skill augmentation of employees is still a real issue. Leveraging voice analysis and AI learning in real-time can be a big boost. Having an AI coach in an employee’s ear is also a long-term goal. 

Real-Time Data Fabric/Mesh 

A smart data mesh that leverages hybrid data sources in real time is an essential building block to support the other four technologies listed above. While the physical locations of any data is a big issue, having a logical business-focused data catalog that helps both people and technologies to leverage data from real-time to archival data. This is a long-term goal that requires regular investment to help with the real management of data in a proactive manner. It will start with a unified database and extend to a catalog-driven data fabric/mesh This is the real way to deal with data sprawl, but the investment is long-term and infrastructural in nature. 

Net; Net: 

While there will be belt tightening, there are ways to prioritize technology investments that will still provide long-term delivery while incrementally providing contributions to today’s profitability pressures. It’s a trckybalance to invest in digital progress while keeping operations on point and able to adjust to constant change. Look to this space for a discussion on dealing with change by leveraging situational methods, practices, and technologies. 

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