Eye EYE (c) 2016 Pixabay / cocoparisienne https://pixabay.com/en/eye-blue-eye-iris-pupil-face-1173863/ Several interesting pieces of research were published this week. Sage published a report based on a significant survey of 12,000 SMB business leaders across several countries. It found that 84% are optimistic about the long-term future, compared to 2022 (69%).

iCIMS published its Class of 2023 report with some interesting insights about the cohort of graduates who spent much of their college life during COVID and lockdown.


Accenture released findings from a report titled Reinventing Enterprise Operations. The study found that 73% of firms prioritise AI over every other digital investment. The immediate focus is improving operational resilience from finance (89%) to supply chain (88%), and many are investing in generative AI.

The report assessed operational maturity across 6 dimensions and found that only 9% are fully mature. Mature organisations averaged 1.4X higher operating margins over peers, drove 42% faster innovation, 34% better sustainability and 30% higher satisfaction scores.

Yusuf Tayob, Group Chief Executive of Accenture Operations, commented, “all CEOs are under pressure to digitize faster, put more resilience in the business, and find new pathways to growth. The right investments in technology while advancing talent, data and processes is what drives a new performance frontier.”

The report highlights five actions leaders can take to evolve operations:

  • Humanize AI experiences
  • Define a clear strategy
  • Innovate processes
  • Create an agile workforce
  • Drive value creation holistically, with a 360o approach


The monthly ADP National Employment Report reported that private-sector employment Increased by 296,000 Jobs in April. Annual Pay rose 6.7% in April, year over year.

Service-providing industries proved the most buoyant, increasing by 229,000, though professional and business consulting services dropped by 16,000. Product industries rose by 67,00 though manufacturing lost 38,000 jobs.

Nela Richardson, Chief Economist of ADP, commented, “the slowdown in pay growth gives the clearest signal of what’s going on in the labor market right now. Employers are hiring aggressively while holding pay gains in check as workers come off the sidelines. Our data also shows fewer people are switching jobs.”

Blue Yonder

Blue Yonder published findings from its 2023 Supply Chain Executives Survey. Key findings from the US executives sample were:

  • 87% of businesses report experiencing supply chain disruptions within the last year
  • 52% cited customer delays as the most frequent outcome
  • 62% indicated their supply chains were reliable enough to withstand the pressure

Chirag Modi, Corporate Vice President, Industry Strategy – Supply Chain Execution at Blue Yonder, commented, “business leaders have come to expect the unexpected. After the initial supply chain shock in 2021, organizations sprang into action and invested in tools and technology that would help them preempt and weather the storm.

“More than half (52%) of respondents have increased their supply chain investments in the last year, with 38% reporting investments of at least $10 million. Most (56%) of these investments are going toward technology.”

Inflation is top of mind for most, with 43% reporting increased costs and 48% shrinking profit margins. Organisations are mainly (56%) investing in technology, such as:

  • Warehouse management systems (44%)
  • Order management systems (39%)
  • Supply chain visibility tools (36%)
  • Transportation management (30%)

Strategic investments in technology are seeing results, with 54% of respondents achieving improved effectiveness, 42% seeing fewer disruptions, and 39% have seen revenue growth. The report also looked at talent, sustainability and the use of AI/ML.


Globant published the results of its Learning and Diversity Behind the Screen Report. The report aims to understand how Globant employees (or “Globers”) learn to design new learning experiences that are more effective, inclusive, and personalized.

One of the main reasons employees start a learning process is related to work activities such as career advancement. The report also highlighted that training should suit the employee’s learning style and be flexibly delivered. It highlighted some gender differences. Women report a greater preference for learning to improve their careers, while men more frequently report deciding to learn when they have questions about their roles and responsibilities.

Patricia Pomies, Chief Operating Officer at Globant, said, “The future of humanity depends on the solutions we create. A high-impact industry, such as technology, has the potential to influence other fields and be a game changer for society. Companies should focus on designing learning experiences that use new technologies and innovation to put employees at the center of the business. This will help ensure their employees are equipped with the skills they need to succeed according to their unique characteristics and specialities.”


Infosys unveiled the findings of the banking and financial services study conducted in collaboration with HFS Research, a leading global analyst firm. The study, “The ecosystem imperative: How to create new sources of value in BFS enterprises,” reveals that BFS enterprises, torn between macroeconomic challenges and exciting innovation potential, identify the creation of ecosystems as the new hope for driving growth and creating new forms of value.

Key findings included:

  • Top business objectives are revenue growth (29%), profitability (26%) and the creation of collaborative ecosystems to drive new forms of value (24%)
  • 44% of BFS respondents believe they will drive growth within 2 years through ecosystems. However, these efforts may fail without an interim stage of enterprise modernization
  • Challenges such as acquiring and retaining talent, lack of centralized data governance and legacy tech hinder the ROI from innovation investments

Dennis Gada, EVP and Industry Head – Financial Services, Infosys, said, “The leading banking and financial services firms are eager to leverage the power of new technologies and create new value streams through sustainable banking, real-time payments and digital trust, but are faced with today’s macroeconomic challenges and evolving customer expectations.

“As a result, and as our study found, savvy enterprises are driving opportunities with ecosystem collaborators to help accelerate their transformation journey and make rapid progress against their innovation goals.”


A survey commissioned by MYOB ahead of the budget in Australia, found that 84% of Australians agree that supporting small businesses in the upcoming Federal Budget will be key to helping drive economic recovery and stop a recession. 54% want to see more support for small businesses than big businesses.

Priorities should be addressing the cost of living crisis (73%), consumer rent relief and affordable housing (50%), tax cuts (43%), investment in the environment (32%) and childcare rebates (27%).

Helen Lea, MYOB Chief Employee Experience Officer, commented, “Australians understand the pressures on small businesses and their place within the business landscape. SMEs make up more than 99% of Australian businesses and play a crucial role at the heart of our communities, as well as contributing $700 billion to our GDP. The research shows 80% of respondents are more conscious of shopping locally in this economic climate.

“It’s a challenging time for consumers and small businesses alike; the former are tightening their belts, which means SMEs face growing costs, inflation and rate rises as well as a reduction in foot traffic and spend. Anecdotally, local cafes are seeing their regulars come in less frequently, and high street restaurants and shops say people are spending less. This research reflects those patterns.

“Digitally advanced SMEs are 50% more likely to grow their revenue, they’re eight times more likely to create jobs and seven times more likely to scale. MYOB modelling found that helping SMEs with low or no levels of digitisation get online could lead to a $10.5 billion gain for the economy.”


Sage released more details from its ‘Small Business, Big Opportunity’ global report for the South African market. The findings reveal that 83% of business decision-makers are confident their company will be successful 12 months from now, an increase from 2022 of 76%. Over a third (41%) say working more efficiently increases business confidence.

In the next twelve months, over half (54%) of South Africa’s SMBs expect an increase in revenue, with 42% expecting to increase their workforce.

Pieter Bensch, Executive Vice President for Sage Africa & Middle East, commented, “South African SMBs have shown remarkable agility in navigating multiple crises from COVID-19 to load shedding over the past three years. They have invested in talented teams, boosted their productivity, and confronted costs head-on.

“But we should not take them for granted, given their contribution to South Africa’s economy, their central role in communities, and their potential to create jobs. With utility costs rising, an uncertain power supply, slow economic growth, and global inflation, more must be done to help our SMBs to survive and thrive.

“Government can play an important enabling role by fast-tracking economic reforms and keeping SMBs front of mind in decision making. It’s especially key to accelerate efforts to end the load shedding crises and to support SMBs with the resources and opportunities they need to exploit technology at scale, given the existing barriers around further investing in tech.”


SirionLabs released a new white paper in collaboration with KPMG, titled Accountability for Sustainability: Weaving ESG into the Fabric of Contract Management.” The co-authored white paper explains how CLM software can help organizations integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) requirements across their entire supplier, partner and customer ecosystems to create a seamless, value-driven organization.

Key findings included:

  • Why it’s critical to incorporate ESG standards into contracts to reduce risk levels and increase resiliency across the supply chain
  • What obstacles are created by a fragmented approach to ESG management across various departments
  • How to leverage CLM to institutionalize ESG and incorporate it into your supplier performance management
  • How CLM enables companies to manage and monitor suppliers’ ESG performance and ensure their reporting of ESG information

Rahul Sharma, Regional Head – UK&I, D/A/CH & Nordics at Sirion, commented, “Enterprise CLM software has emerged as the most effective platform for aligning processes into the ESG framework because AI-powered CLM is a key driver of cross-departmental collaboration between legal, finance, procurement, supplier management and other areas instrumental in achieving corporate ESG goals.

“This white paper provides business leaders valuable insights they need to overcome any roadblocks to maintain ESG compliance, and demonstrates that enterprise-grade CLM is critical in providing a holistic look into partner and supplier relationships that may impact ESG goals.”

Download the full white paper here.


UKG published the April Workforce activity report. It found shift work declined by 0.2% in April 2023. The Workforce Recovery Index rose to 96.4 (March 95.1), the highest since October 2022. Sectors showing strength and weakness included healthcare (0.6%); manufacturing (-0.4%); retail, food service, and hospitality (0.7%); and services and distribution (-0.5%)

Dave Gilbertson, Vice President and Labor Economist UKG, commented, “It’s surprising. The labor market continues to be resilient. April shift work displayed its strongest performance since 2019, prior to the pandemic. We’re relatively confident there will be a bump in new job creation this month compared to the past.”


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