You may have more scrutiny on spend and hiring, but you must still grow amidst the turmoil of disrupting supply chains, persistent war, and geopolitical and climate instability. As you follow through on your 2023 plans and adapt to changes caused by constraints and rebounds, be sure to reinforce and scale the capabilities embedded in a future fit technology strategy. Customer-obsessed companies that deploy a future fit tech strategy outperform their competitors two to one, so it works in good times and in bad.
To succeed in tough times, take action in your platforms, practices, and partnerships, plus a fourth ‘P,’ for “people” — which cuts across the other three. Done right, this approach will help you succeed in 2023 while positioning you for the coming rebound.
- Adopt a pragmatic and future-ready platform strategy. Modern software platforms lend modularity, composability, interconnectedness, extensibility, transparent standards, and trust to your tech stack. Recessionary times offer opportunities to hit the reset button on traditional, constrained forms of thinking and accelerate the move toward connected, interoperable, and loosely coupled tech stacks. Look at options to rationalize, leverage automation, and engage the business to optimize your platform strategy.
- Drive technology efficiency and effectiveness with adaptive practices. It doesn’t cost anything to work smarter. In this constrained year, find and elevate the practices that can drive greater efficiency and effectiveness. For example, teams that came together to solve specific problems — agile software development, value stream management, complex transformations, and so on — hold the seeds of success to scale your ability to adapt to new realities and rapidly assemble new solutions. In a constrained 2023, you’ll have to balance near-term pragmatism with longer-term investments in flexibility to prepare for the coming upward swing of the pendulum. And most importantly, you have to prioritize customer and employee projects.
- Improve outcomes and reduce waste with co-innovation partnerships. According to Forrester’s Business And Technology Services Survey, 2022, on average, North American and European senior services decision-makers at enterprises estimated that 31% of their technology budgets would be dedicated to third-party service providers in 2022. That makes partnerships an essential and costly ingredient in your future fit technology strategy. Rationalize your vendor portfolio and focus on higher expectations and improved contracts to maximize the return on those costs and advance your ability to extract the most value from service providers in 2023.
- Take care of your people to unleash creativity, adaptivity, and resilience. During tough or constrained times, it can be tempting to cut costs through reducing headcount, but that approach will impact your ability to be adaptive in the long term as organizational knowledge is lost and productivity dips. Instead, focus on ways to make your talent more valuable using strategies such as upskilling, new technology that augments humans, and a more adaptive approach to boom/bust cycles.
- Be conservative in acquiring new talent. As the market changes and becomes more hospitable to growth, avoid the temptation to ramp up hiring too quickly. It is better to have organizational stability for your employees than keep having boom and bust cycles. Instead, take advantage of freelance talent marketplaces to address short-term or immediate high-skill talent gaps.
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