Everest Group: the rise in need for digital resiliency
In collaboration with leading Chief Experience Officers (CXOs) from multiple industries, and identified and shared best practices to navigate business challenges due to COVID-19 via a series of roundtables.
During the roundtables, digital resiliency and business continuity were highlighted as the top technology investments to survive and thrive. Those that participated in the roundtables included the travel, consumer packaged goods, transportation, insurance, hospitality, financial services, retail, and manufacturing industries.
With companies driving investments in tools and strategies to sustain a resilient business as they emerge from the pandemic, industries have realised a measurable return on investment due to their digital and modernisation efforts.
"One of the lessons learned from the pandemic is that many organisations did not pivot toward digital transformation opportunities fast enough," said Peter Bendor-Samuel, CEO, Everest Group.
"These organisations realise the importance of implementing digital resiliency plans and are re-assessing their digital transformation pathways. This will enable them to emerge more resilient."
As a result of the roundtables, Mindtree and Everest Group identified three imperatives:
- Develop sustainable funding models: balancing digital technology investments and fiscal caution to flatten the cost increases of technology initiatives and preserve cash.
- Evolve sales and distribution models: the impact of COVID-19 has changed customer expectation when it comes to experiences. It is important for companies to enable zero-touch, self-service kiosks or contactless experiences to re-establish customer trust.
- Redeveloping talent and workforce management models: to drive productivity in technology teams and scalable strategic transformation initiatives, enterprises are beginning to adopt more distributed and agile methodologies.
"The pandemic has accelerated a massive paradigm shift in the way services get sourced, consumed and governed," said Venu Lambu, President, Global Markets, Mindtree.
"Enterprises are increasingly moving away from on-premises implementation of technologies toward cloud and as-a-service, automation and digitising their core systems. With our deep roots in digital and cloud technologies, Mindtree is well-positioned to be at the forefront of these new models of service consumption and engagement."
How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.