2. Significant investments in technology will underpin growth efforts
One hundred percent of board members surveyed indicated their organization is planning to invest significantly in technology across a range of priorities — improving the customer experience, reducing risks (including cyber risks), improving internal efficiencies, creating new products or services, and improving financial data access and analytics.
Board members are particularly focused on deploying automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to support better and faster talent recruitment and onboarding. Which makes sense, given that: 1) board members see identifying and hiring talent among their top organizational risks to grow their business; and 2) one-third cite the need to be more agile and tap into the gig economy by hiring more contractors and freelance staff as a key priority for their organization’s employment strategy.
Continuing along the lines of looking within for optimization opportunities, three-quarters of board directors say they will develop AI capabilities for talent recruitment and onboarding in-house. Similarly, 9 of 10 say they will develop AI in-house for another top priority — increasing personalized products and services, and improving customer service. The preference for developing these capabilities in-house may in part be attributed to the need to accommodate legacy systems. More likely, however, is the recognition that it provides an opportunity to create bespoke apps that allow their organization to achieve a competitive advantage.
3. Technology and innovation is at the heart of deal strategy
A little more than half (52%) of board directors expect to pursue M&A in the next 12 months with almost one quarter saying that acquiring technology, talent, new production capabilities or innovative startups is driving deal strategy.