4 Business Trends That Will Define Industry Leaders

Over the course of 2021, Propeller leaders and consultants partnered with clients across consumer products, healthcare, technology, energy, and financial services. Their most urgent goals were to quickly build and adopt solutions that effectively transformed their technology, customer experience, and workforce strategies.  

Moving into 2022, Propeller leaders predict that companies focused on cascading data and analytics fluency throughout their organizations, initiating SaaS and Cloud evolutions, creating optimized workforces, and training their leaders to inspire new levels of productivity—will claim the limelight in their respective industries.

Propeller CEO Amy Weeden, Chief Growth Officer Sunil Kasturi, and Silicon Valley Managing Director, David Woltze offer four defining 2022 business leadership trends, insights, and growth strategies 

1. Increased data visibility and fluency throughout organizations 

Data is no longer owned by data scientists and data analysts working in siloes. In 2022, effective business growth strategies will require leaders to examine data in different ways and across all functions and levels of the organization. Because smart business is built on data-driven decisions—and those decisions are no longer limited to the C-level—this critical shift has created a new imperative for company leaders to onboard new data and analysis tools and education, and cascade a shared data fluency throughout their organizations.

It is a sign of an organization’s maturity and commitment to their employees’ futures to prepare them with data and analytics skills that will soon be table stakes in every profession. – Amy Weeden

When workers are proficient in data, they are more empowered to use it to draw their own conclusions and analyses as it applies to their specific job function. Business leaders can enable that empowered advantage by investing in data systems and technology that makes data accessible while providing guardrails that minimize the risk of data misuse, data breaches, and ensure proper data security strategies.

Picking the right high-quality data and analytics tools is critical in building more trust in data, even imperfect data, throughout an organization. The best tools help companies democratize their data, inspire more data-fluent decisions, and minimize the risk of inaccurate or incomplete data causing poor decisions. - David Woltze

Related Content: 5 Data Security Best Practices to Revisit

Propeller's Data & Analytics Expertise

2. The rapid rise of legacy tech migration to Cloud-based SaaS systems 

In 2022 and beyond, we will see increased migration from legacy applications and an accelerated move to Cloud-based technology systems with an eye to heightened data security measures. Software as a Service (SaaS), allows companies to take advantage of speed, scale, information access, and ease of management. Other benefits include:

  • Access to predictive analytics
  • Big data capabilities
  • Machine learning
  • Enhanced Cloud computing

This movement started years ago but has taken center stage in light of COVID-19.

As organizations accept the fact that their workplaces will continue to be hybrid, remote, and distanced, former software and tech systems that were developed to function around a home-based office environment will now move to the Cloud at an accelerated pace.

Most companies don’t want to be a tech-creator, they want to use tech to focus on the business strategies and platforms that will deliver the best results. – David Woltze

Additionally, companies will continue to make record investments in SaaS applications and platforms due to the advanced enhanced data privacy and security controls available with contemporary Cloud and SaaS platforms.

Driven by speed, accessibility, and the ability to leverage best-in-class technology, SaaS investments create both external customer experience advantages and improvements in internal employee experiences and communication.

"Our workplace of the future extends beyond conference room whiteboarding and real-time collaborations happening in cubicles. How we communicate has changed. SaaS can help companies with their external customer experience engagement just as effectively as it can advance internal communication, performance, and productivity. Cloud-based systems like Zoom, Miro, Smartsheet, and Trello are now vital telecommunications tools—quickly replacing legacy tech so that companies don’t lose ground." – Sunil Kasturi

How we communicate has changed. SaaS can help companies with their external customer experience engagement just as effectively as it can advance internal communication, performance, and productivity. – Sunil Kasturi

Related Content: (Case Study) Global Enterprise Migrates Suite of Applications to the Cloud

Propeller's Technology Transformation Expertise

3. Reimagining best-in-class workforce strategies: employee retention, flexibility & engagement

As businesses continue to grow at unprecedented rates, and record numbers of employees continue changing jobs and even careers, larger organizations must map to aggressive 2022 business strategies to compete—shifting resources to employee engagement and retention, partnerships, and flexible workforces including freelance, temporary, part-time, seasonal, and dispersed workers.

With employee attrition at an all-time high, companies must compete for top full-time and contract talent. - Sunil Kasturi

Growth-focused companies are also making sure that individual roles are clearly and distinctly defined and capability-aligned for optimal team cohesion and productivity. This is more important than ever in reconstituting key roles across full-time, part-time, freelance, and virtually dispersed workforces. When done successfully, it helps all levels of employees engage with passion and purpose to make a difference—and helps combat the burnout and fatigue employees experienced over the past two years. 

Companies that effectively prioritize the clarification of roles, owners, how handoffs will work for mission-critical initiatives, and why everyone—up and down the organization—is responsible for projects successfully crossing the finish line, are better positioned to thrive and grow. – Amy Weeden

4. Leadership Development: Great leaders will set companies apart 

A new leadership model is emerging that is more holistic, empathetic, and human. The lines between personal and professional have blurred. Leaders of the future need to drive business outcomes, but they also need to be cultural beacons, advisors to their industries, mentors to their teams, and most importantly, the kind of leader capable of sparking workforce engagement in an environment of constant change. – Sunil Kasturi

More than tech investments, product innovation, and data insights, it will be senior leaders and their ability to effectively inspire and lead that determine a company’s success. Strong leaders will stand out by embracing organizational culture change and by specifically defining how and why the company values are so closely tied to company success.  

Related Content: Propeller's People & Change Expertise

Influential leaders are also adept at active listening—making sure that message intent is aligned with message receipt—in all their individual and team communications. This level of active listening builds trust, accountability, and agility—a trifecta that can powerfully ignite workers and drive market leadership.

When leaders take the time to share with employees their point-of-view, for example, the market demands they are seeing and why, and how the work gets done is differentiating the company and helping drive sales, they are essentially inviting employees along for the journey. This demonstrates trust and a shared passion to be the best. – Amy Weeden

Bringing it all together

Propeller Consulting is increasingly partnering with clients to tackle these emerging trends; from building structure that informs a company’s data collection and reporting models across IT, Human Resources, product, marketing, and project management teams, to helping structure best-in-class workforces that deliver market-leading innovation, agility, and individual and team performances.

As companies move into a still changing but economically brighter 2022 business environment, the need for continued investments in tech, leadership, and workforce transformations is as critical as it was last year. Those set on broadening their talent sources, including onboarding consulting partners, are better positioned to surface new paths and growth strategies for business success. 

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