How automation allows CIOs to focus on their biggest asset: talent

 A digital face in profile against a digital background.
A digital face in profile against a digital background.

While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that job openings have slightly decreased, the challenge to find qualified employees continues to weighs heavy on the minds of business leaders, especially CIOs. Amidst a volatile economic environment, many CIOs are tasked with helping their organizations cut costs and do more with less while also securing qualified talent to help maneuver ongoing economic uncertainty and contribute to greater success.

As a result of the increased pressure to retain and hire talent while carefully managing their budget, tech leaders are especially strategic about where they invest their resources. Many are choosing to focus on digital innovation that is proven to help scale operations, drive margin expansion and maintain high-performing teams. Artificial intelligence (AI) driven automation has become a powerful investment choice. Half of the companies surveyed in McKinsey’s Global Survey on AI are already using AI in at least one area of their business and most plan to increase their investments within the next three years.

The back office is among the areas of business that is powerfully impacted by automation. By automating and streamlining mission critical processes like invoicing, bill pay and financial reporting, automation makes the hub of the organization more efficient, enhances jobs to make them more appealing and allows CIOs to allocate budget to hiring and upskilling talent. Firms should take a closer look at how technology, including automation, can modernize the back office by replacing costly, labor intensive tasks, and how it can help CIOs by serving as a powerful retention and hiring tool.

Investing in innovative tech to attract talent for evolving roles

Today’s workplace looks far different than it did just a few years ago. Nine-to-five workdays in siloed office environments are evolving as people share information across departments, expand their roles to find greater job satisfaction and create their own ladders to success. Employees are looking for flexibility, including remote work options, better work-life balance and they want to feel good about their jobs.

Technology enables this shift to a talent-driven environment. For instance, offering cloud-based solutions gives people more freedom by allowing them to work remotely and putting forward collaboration tools to keep them better connected. Automation also frees them from the mundane aspects of their job and provides adaptive learning to help expand their roles and empower them to be more valuable contributors to their organization’s purpose.

The talent pool has come to expect advanced tools like these in the workplace and a plethora of job opportunities ripe for the taking makes it tough for organizations to retain employees’ loyalty without delivering on their expectations. By investing in cloud solutions and automation, leaders can free their people from the repetitive, manual aspects of their work, elevate their roles and provide the flexibility they crave, including hybrid work options, helping to increase retention rates and attract new hires with a powerful lure—a modernized workplace.

CIOS navigate business success while tech takes on the back-office

While addressing labor challenges, the right technology investments also help CIOs manage a recessionary, hyper cost-conscious environment and pave the way toward a more profitable future. Going paperless significantly reduces costs, as does streamlining time and labor-intensive processes with automated software. With fewer tasks to do, back office staff can take on more work and do it in less time. Organizations that leverage cloud-based automation solutions can do the work from anywhere, helping to reduce overhead costs, and those that take advantage of software that provides electronic payments options can eliminate the expense of cutting and mailing paper checks.

While technology turns the back office into an efficient powerhouse, it is also providing powerful insights through better visibility into important financial and customer data. AI and machine learning can analyze vast quantities of data, far more than a human can, identifying patterns and predicting outcomes. It arms staff with valuable insights that can help them spot opportunities for improvements and additional cost savings. These insights help steer important business decisions, allow organizations to quickly pivot as they gain clarity and pave the way to a stronger future.

Investing in innovation to address the war for talent while strengthening the business

A recent Gartner report shows that the tech labor crunch is far from over—86 percent of CIOs face more competition for qualified candidates and 73 percent are worried about retaining their employees. Automation empowers them to succeed by enhancing their employees’ job satisfaction, helping to lure talented professionals who can lead and support digital transformation efforts and create cost-saving efficiencies throughout the organization.

While technology is working its magic, CIOs are freed to spend time and budget on connecting with their employees to ensure they feel valued and heard. They can focus on providing the training and support they need to advance and upskill them on emerging technologies that will continue to evolve their work and reveal exciting new opportunities for growth.

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