Business complexity continues to accelerate

Global survey suggests businesses must re-examine their digital transformation approach to better help employees adapt to change.

A new global study from Pegasystems Inc., on the state of business complexity found that nearly three out of four employees (71%) feel their job complexity continues to rise as customer demands increase. At the same time, employees at all levels report feeling overloaded with information, systems, and processes, making it difficult for them to adapt to these new challenges and meet their customers’ growing needs.

As the pandemic bore down, most businesses rushed to deploy digital transformation projects to help address this new reality. But the survey findings from more than 4,000 employees in the Americas, EMEA, and APAC suggest these initiatives either didn’t go far enough or were implemented in silos without a unified vision. In fact, 42% of respondents think that digital transformation may have even increased their job complexity – a surprising perception that should cause some organizations to reexamine their digital approach.

But before they can redefine a new strategy to reduce business complexity, organizations must first understand the key drivers that are rapidly increasing it. Survey respondents identified a mix of organizational, technological, and societal factors that are adding complexity to their jobs, the top of which include:

1.Managing information overload, reported by 90% of respondents

2.Navigating internal processes and bureaucracy (89%)

3.Managing projects, teams, and people (88%)

4.Keeping pace with rapid change (87%)

5.Lack of resources (86%)

How can businesses better address these complexity drivers? According to survey respondents, they should start by breaking down technological silos. The presence of too many/different systems was the top technology issue driving complexity in their organization, selected by 43% of respondents. When asked what businesses can do to make their technology experience less complex, their top remedy was to deploy systems that more easily integrate with other technologies (selected by 40% of respondents). This suggests that businesses need to take a more unified approach to digital transformation as opposed to piecemeal projects implemented in isolation.

The survey also highlighted how the pandemic specifically contributed to the acceleration of business complexity in a number of ways:

•Overall, most employees (56%) feel the pandemic will make business more complex in the long run.

•One in three employees (35%) think hybrid work arrangements make business more complex. When asked why, 38% said hybrid work makes it more challenging to set boundaries between their work and personal lives.

•Nearly one in three employees (32%) think the pandemic makes it more difficult to find the right people to hire, while 61% say their company cannot attract talent with the necessary tech skills to do the jobs properly.

With the pandemic triggering rapid change, many employees want their organization to adapt even faster: one out of three reported their organization moves too slowly to react to change. But despite its own complexity, technology still remains the key to streamlining their job functions, as 98% agree that technology is vital to getting their jobs done right.



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