Several interesting pieces of research were published this week. They included CompTIA unveiling its UK Tech Town index, with Bristol coming out top. OneStream published the Enterprise Financial Decision-Makers Outlook. It looked at Finance Leaders’ challenges and priorities, primarily from a survey of North American finance leaders. BigPanda, the AIOps vendor, looked at IT outages, their costs, causes and cures in an interesting study that blew away at least one myth. Salesforce published its Annual State of Marketing report. The 8th edition is a substantial piece of work that revealed a lot of insight into the direction marketers are moving.
Research by Accenture has found that 93% of companies will fail to achieve their zero carbon emission goals if they do not double the pace of their reductions by 2030. The analysis is based on data from 2,000 of the world’s largest public and private companies. Accelerating Global Companies toward Net Zero by 2050 found that challenges such as rising inflation and supply chain issues are reducing the focus on reductions. There is some hope, though, as there is a record rise in the number of corporate targets validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) this year alone. In addition, 83% of companies plan to increase investment in sustainability initiatives before the end of 2022.
Jean-Marc Ollagnier, CEO of Accenture for Europe, commented, “Amid global economic, political and environmental disruption, more companies than ever before have publicly committed to largely decarbonizing by around 2050. This heightened ambition is encouraging, but it is also clear that a steep acceleration of emission reductions is required.
“Maximizing value from mature technologies, such as digital and certain renewable energies, while accelerating the deployment of breakthrough solutions like hydrogen will be critical. Most importantly, reaching net zero will require urgent and profound transformations, as it is about embedding sustainability into everything organizations do, redefining their purpose, culture and business models.”
The ADP National Employment report, reported that employment increased by 239,000 jobs in October, and pay has increased 7.7% year over year. Nela Richardson, Chief Economist, ADP, commented, “This is a really strong number given the maturity of the economic recovery but the hiring was not broad-based. Goods producers, which are sensitive to interest rates, are pulling back, and job changers are commanding smaller pay gains. While we’re seeing early signs of Fed-driven demand destruction, it’s affecting only certain sectors of the labor market.”
Anaplan published its first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion report. The initial reports by firms set the benchmark for future performance and often throw up some surprises. For Anaplan, that it has a 66.4% male workforce is notable. However, it has increased female employees by 1% since a year ago. The company employee base is also 47.4% white, with 19.50% undeclared or declined to identify themselves. This seems a high percentage.
The gender difference in management and the gender pay gap is of greater concern. In the UK, 69% of managers are male. Men earn 21.9% more per hour and 52.4% more in bonuses. While Anaplan reviews the pay gap, the report does not dive into the detail of whether a pay gap exists or does not exist in similar jobs.
The report also details the changes within the Anaplan culture that have occurred. Notably, in 2021, it expanded the number of its Employee Resource Groups to seven. The report also lists other initiatives and notes the non-profit partners it currently works with.
Make UK and Infor published a report that called on the UK government to protect digital support programmes to spur further growth. The key findings from the report include:
- Around 80% of companies plan to increase digital adoption in the next two years.
- 40% of companies say digital technologies have already boosted productivity within their business; two-thirds predict further productivity gains.
- The pandemic has accelerated digital adoption for supply chain management.
- A third of companies say digital investments have improved energy efficiency and reduced emissions.
- Digital technologies are creating more job opportunities and higher skill levels.
- A third of companies cite a lack of digital skills as a barrier to investment.
Verity Davidge, Director of Policy at Make UK, commented, “Our economy is undergoing a profound digital transformation with the potential to transform our lives and economy, making it more productive, resilient and sustainable. Those countries that are better prepared for these changes will benefit the most, with the companies increasing their investment powering through the challenges that lie ahead with greater productivity, better skill levels and reduced emissions.
“The key now is for manufacturers to unlock their potential on digital adoption, which will be key if we want to invest and grow. To aid this process, government must protect vital support programmes, which are key to enabling SMEs, in particular, along their digital journey.”
Andrew Kinder, Infor Senior Vice President of industry and solutions strategy, noted, “It’s encouraging to learn that those who have invested in digital technologies report that their investments have paid off, and they felt better prepared to weather the storms. Looking forward, as smart products, automation and robotics are increasingly adopted, the data and insights these technologies drive out will yield yet further benefits for manufacturers who have put the digital foundations in place.”
Research by IRIS Software, in partnership with Censuswide, has found that nearly 1.2 million hospitality employees are paying unnecessary National Insurance, mainly on their tips. 46% of hospitality businesses add pooled tips to existing PAYE or payroll without using a tronc. This special pay arrangement lets businesses fairly share tips, gratuities and service charges given by customers with staff. This results in employees unnecessarily paying NI on their tips.
Stuart Stephen, Vice President of Managed Services at IRIS, comments, “Tips and service charges provide a significant and welcome boost to hospitality employees’ take-home wage. Although the government has put a spotlight on unfair practices, more needs to be done to ensure tips are pooled fairly and comply with the law.
“Payroll is a highly sensitive and ‘mission-critical’ function. A properly run tronc scheme is not only compliant and accurate, but also ensures employees continue to feel motivated as more of their hard-earned tips, gratuities, or service charges go into their pocket.”
IRIS Software provides a solution that resolves this issue, Troncmasters By IRIS.
- Competition – 29%
- Revenue growth – 28%
- Profitability tied – 28%
- Acquiring new customers – 24%
- Hiring tied – 24%
Fred Voccola, Kaseya CEO, commented, “For the second year in a row, the Datto Global State of the MSP Report shows that our partners are worried about the competition. This comes as no surprise. The pandemic led to an increase in need for IT services and produced savvy customers who like to shop around. MSPs have had to evolve to keep pace with the competition.”
The top planned services top of mind for MSPs included:
- 30% – managed detection and response
- 30% – dark web monitoring
- 29% – web content filtering
- 29% – compliance monitoring
- 29% – privileged access management
- 28% – endpoint detection and response (EDR)
- 28% – patch management
This report is always a fascinating read for MSPs looking to see what their competition is doing.
A new Nexthink report titled The Drivers of Digital Employee Experience (DEX) looks at employees’ biggest IT experience and disruption problems and finds that technology and colleagues are the biggest sources of frustration. 93% of respondents reported technology impeding productivity in one way or another. Causes for that disruption varied, and the report has some interesting findings that may influence how companies deploy technology and how and when they expect employees to use it.
Yassine Zaied, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, Nexthink, commented, “What we have found over the years in our research and anecdotal experience is that technology is often both the solution and the problem. The question organizations should be asking themselves is how IT teams can combat these common issues while balancing individual team needs with the best interest of the company. We know technology is our greatest asset but having a true understanding of its failings and its potential is vital in creating positive digital experiences for employees.”
Qualtrics has published a study that identifies consumer trends into 2023. Bruce Temkin, Head of Qualtrics XM Institute, said, “The human desire to be heard and understood is universal, especially in today’s digital world. With all of the economic, political, and medical uncertainties over the next couple of years, organizations need to get even better at recognizing and responding to shifts in what customers are thinking and feeling to retain their loyalty.”
The key trends include the following:
- Consumer loyalty will be won through personal connections, not pure efficiency.
- Brand switching is likely to increase as consumer patience runs out.
- Unstructured feedback will gain importance for understanding consumer’s changing needs.
Sage published some research in partnership with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). The SME Climate Impact Report calls for the UK government to not overlook SMEs in the fight against climate change, given the influential role they play in the economy. SMEs contribute 50% of the country’s Gross Value Added to GDP (worth £1.0 trillion in 2021) and support 52% of total employment with 18.2 million jobs.
Key findings from the report include:
- In 2021, UK SMEs contributed an estimated 160 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1), representing 44% of the total UK non-household emissions. This rises to 63% once their supply chains are also accounted for.
- Over half (53%) of SMEs (66% of mid-sized firms) stated that sustainability was either a priority or central to their operations. 63% of mid-sized firms are also likely to have a sustainability plan in place.
- 90% of businesses can identify at least one way tech can help them become greener.
- SMEs don’t see business growth and sustainability at odds with each other:
- 33% see lowering costs as the biggest potential benefit of becoming greener.
- 46% see reducing waste will help reduce operational costs and increase sustainability.
- 46% see reducing energy usage will help reduce operational costs and increase sustainability.
- 90% of SMEs believe that they face barriers to taking climate action, with cash flow constraints and difficulty finding the right solutions to manage their impact being identified as the top two.
Elisa Moscolin, Executive Vice President, Sustainability and Foundation at Sage, commented, “The overall climate footprint of SMEs shows just how vital they are to tackling climate change. There is an urgent need to help them understand their emissions and arm them with guidance so they can formulate their sustainability plans: only 36% of SMEs have communicated a net-zero target so far.
“The good news is that the vast majority of UK SMEs already recognise the importance and urgency of becoming more environmentally friendly. Considering the significant role they play in our economies – and our environment – the UK government has a responsibility to level the playing field for SMEs in the race to a net-zero society.”
Trinet has partnered with The Harris Poll to conduct an industry-wide pulse survey to better understand the experiences and perceptions around the current and upcoming macroeconomic environment that SMB leaders are facing.
- 50% of business leaders are confident in the U.S. economy over the next 12 months.
- 20% believe we are already in a recession.
- 16% expect a recession in the second half of 2022.
Looking forward to 2023:
- two in five expect a recession in 2023
- 33% do not expect a recession at all
Despite this, 74% are prepared for a recession, with 32% preserving cash, 31% raised prices, and 29% have cut costs. However, 44% have invested in technology, and 39% have invested in launching new products and services.
Michael Mendenhall, SVP, CMO, and CCO at TriNet, commented, “Based on the findings of this extensive survey, the state of the economy is clearly top of mind for SMB leaders everywhere. As the evidence suggests, most agree that we are either in the middle of a recession or heading there soon.”
John Gerzema, CEO, The Harris Poll, notes, “As this data shows, small and medium-sized business leaders are proactively taking steps to stormproof their operations even as most report a confident outlook heading into 2023. This strategy includes turning to trusted sources for information and counsel while matching cost controls with investments in technology.”
Trinet also released its second annual Environmental, Social and Governance Report. The reports highlight several initiatives Trinet has undertaken during the year, from reducing business travel, joining the Human Rights Campaign Business Coalition for the Equality Act and launching the Enrich product line for customers.
TriNet President and CEO Burton M. Goldfield stated, “From the SMBs we serve to our incredible colleagues and the communities where we live and work, people matter at TriNet. This includes an ongoing commitment to the social and environmental factors that impact all of us. Our commitment is demonstrated in TriNet’s second annual Environmental, Social and Governance Report, where we spotlight the evolution, growth and leadership of our ESG efforts and our company.”
UKG published its Workforce Activity Report for October 2022. It shows that the total number of shifts worked by people in US businesses fell by 0.9% in September, and the monthly index dropped by half a point.
Dave Gilbertson, Vice President, of UKG, stated, “We fully expect the October 2022 jobs report to show another slight reduction in new job creation following continued efforts by the Federal Reserve to intentionally slow the labor market and achieve a soft landing for the economy. By extension, the slightly accelerated declines in October workforce activity, which remain within historical and expected ranges, are not a cause for alarm.”
This is an interesting contrast to the ADP figures above.