We want to do something a little bit different here: follow up on those predictions from December 2022.
You’ve seen a ton of blog posts discussing trends we will see in 2023. It is the topic du jour around the holidays leading into the New Year.
What are the trends we have seen in the previous year that we think will continue through to the next? What new trends are bubbling up right below the surface / will blow up next year?
These year end recaps tend to be grandiose dreams about cool use cases, technology integrations, etc. but many fall short in follow up.
Regarding our favorite topic, digital data, there have been many publications, vendors, and consultancies who have provided their view of the trends we will see in 2023. Many have weighed in, including the Forbes Technology Council.
All of these predictions synthesize into a few direct calls to action:
- Invest time and money to maximize your current “assets” (definition used liberally)
- Buy a new, better technology
- Invest in a new capability (this can be any combination of #1 and #2)
We had planned to discuss our version of trends that would have been in a similar vein but with the general economic uncertainty and the number of layoffs across all sectors, we are going to focus on one over-arching recommendation that has become a reality for most organizations:
“Do More With Less”
Last week, every client and prospect we met with was reeling from large scale layoffs — some as recent as the day before. Obviously, reductions in force (RIFs) cause a great deal of angst. For individuals who have been let go, this time can be personally and financially devastating. An uncertain future leads directly to certain stress. For those who remain at the organization, there are issues of survivor’s guilt, paired with a struggle to contend with the fact that the workload remains the same and must now be delivered with fewer resources. Folks who avoided the RIF are often asked to take on new tasks that had been handled by others while retaining all of their previous full-time commitments.
How To Do More With Less
Every successful organization, by virtue of being where they are, must be ambitious. Every year their leadership tells teams and investors: “support us because we plan to create more value.” Unfortunately, what we are seeing in 2023 is a reduced number of people doing their best to deliver on these future-oriented, expansive goals.
So how does this work? How can you stay ambitious and deliver value with a smaller team? Consider a term we use all the time: ruthless prioritization.
To do more with less, you’ll have to create delivery efficiencies wherever you can:
- Automate as many tasks as are reasonable
- Find and use technology platforms that will help you save time on the tasks that you cannot automate
- Communicate tasks, conversations, and follow ups in distributed collaboration platforms (e.g. Slack, Teams, Excel)
- Invest in company-wide initiatives to automate business processes
- Establish clear working agreements to ensure your entire team knows and understands the new streamlined processes
- Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize — don’t be afraid to say “no” or “not now” to the items on the list that don’t deliver as much value
From a digital data perspective, what does this look like?
- Collecting clean data that ties to or supports critical business decisions — also delete and stop collecting data that doesn’t matter to the organization
- Reducing reporting on data that does not tie to a business decision
- Focus feature development on future data efficiencies
- Automate current and near-term business processes
- Automate compliance use cases where enforcement could result in a direct financial loss to the business (Privacy and Cybersecurity)
After Optimizing Efficiencies… What’s Next?
It’s the rallying call from Pinky and the Brain (with a minor adjustment at the end): It is the same thing we do every day. Try to quantify the value of the work.
Now if you have paid attention to the bullets above, then you will know that we have built the first step in a Digital Data Validation ROI framework. Sentinel technology allows you to see clearly what digital data is being collected, from where, in real-time, by real users on your website.
We are looking forward to discussing the framework in more detail in the coming months and seeing how these trends play out. Based on the conversations we’ve had so far in 2023, this mindset has become increasingly important for portions of the organization (MarTech teams, data privacy teams) as they contemplate how to operate efficiently in an era where they are forced to do more with less.
Not just that, but these teams need to communicate and ensure that leadership understands the value they bring — and leaning into being lean while delivering tangible value is a big part of this message.
Interested in learning more? Reach out to schedule time to chat or to book a demo.