IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

The 5 biggest decisions for business leaders in 2021, according to Gartner

By Catherine Knowles
Thu 14 Jan 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Focusing on the role of HR leaders within the organisation, Gartner has highlighted five future of work decisions that must be made in 2021 if businesses want to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Major shifts in macro factors, such as customer behaviours and government regulations, and in micro factors, including organisational strategy and policy, have substantially shortened HR leaders’ planning horizons, the analyst state.

However, 2021 will see many organisations roll out new strategies to bolster operations during challenging times.

Gartner director in HR practice Emily Rose McRae says, “2021 will be a year of not just recovery, but renewal and acceleration as organisations adopt new business, technology and talent strategies.

“Given the tectonic shifts of 2020, HR leaders will have to face decisions they must be ready to make in order to set their organisations up for success.”

1. Revising workforce strategies

At some point in 2021, organisations will need to revisit the remote and hybrid work policies written during the crisis, Gartner states.

Successful HR leaders will establish triggers for reviewing and revisiting their organisations’ remote and hybrid workforce strategies, rather than waiting for the strategies to become impractical.

There are two types of workforce triggers, talent and situational.

Talent triggers ensure that business leaders can monitor threats to the organisation’s talent strategy.

With situational triggers, HR leaders identify challenges emerging from strategic decisions, such as having teams in different regions and at one-off locations.

2. Utilising emerging technologies

HR leaders will need to look for opportunities to reduce the necessity for employees to perform tasks onsite, and emerging technologies will play a key role in this, Gartner states.

Robotic process automation (RPA) and immersive technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, are two categories of technology that are likely to help reduce the need for onsite work.

RPA addresses barriers to create more efficient workflows. As a result, organisations have turned to this technology as a solution for business recovery and renewal.

A 2020 Gartner survey revealed that nearly a quarter of senior finance leaders plan to increase investments in RPA as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Immersive technologies will help organisations create new channels for high value digital interaction, experiences that would be otherwise difficult to replicate in a hybrid workforce, the analysts state.

Finally, HR leaders should consider how investing in these technological tools will create demand for new roles or skill sets.

3. Redefining workspaces

In 2021, employees will work at home, onsite and potentially in third-party spaces.

Corporate offices will now compete to serve employees’ physical and emotional work needs. As such, organisations must decide what their corporate offices can offer employees that other spaces cannot.

To do this, HR leaders must understand employees’ emotional needs and identify opportunities where the workplace can meet these needs.

This requires HR to work with other business leaders to make decisions about the purpose of corporate spaces and how to evolve them, while also determining how and when to reduce the organisation’s real estate footprint.

4. Shaking up the employment model

Many organisations experimented with innovative employment models as a pandemic response, such as offering 80% pay for 80% of full-time hours to employees who needed more flexibility, bringing in gig workers for pilot projects or setting up formal talent sharing arrangements with other employers to make up for low talent supply.

Essentially, Gartner states that organisations need to decide whether to continue using these employment models going forward.

This will be particularly relevant for organisations with a high percentage of older employees in critical roles. In these instances, offering greater flexibility in not just when employees are working, but how much they work, can help retain employees who otherwise might retire.

5. Recommitting to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)

Many organisations made new or heightened commitments to create more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces during 2020, according to the analysts.

A 2018 Gartner survey found that 74% of employees expect their employer to take a stance on current societal or cultural issues, even if those issues have nothing to do with their employer.

In 2021, Gartner states that HR leaders need to evaluate their organisation’s talent strategy to ensure it will meet their commitments to DEI.

McRae says, “Recruitment, compensation, performance management and workforce planning strategies all need to be evaluated to ensure they are in alignment with the organisation’s goals and values, particularly if those shifted during 2020.”

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Microsoft
SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure to deliver 204% return - study
The Forrester Total Economic Impact study finds SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure brings a 204% return on investment over three years.
Story image
Talend
Talend introduces new data health solutions for businesses
Talend has announced its latest version of Talend Data Fabric, with the release of Talend Trust Score enabling data teams to establish a foundation for data health.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft backing Māori and Pacific wāhine in tech industry
A new initiative focused on getting Māori and Pacific wāhine into the tech industry and backed by Microsoft, NZTech and the government is calling for tech companies to get involved.
Story image
Hawaiki Cable
BW Digital completes acquisition of Hawaiki Submarine Cable
BW Digital has completed its full acquisition of Hawaiki Submarine Cable, with all applicable regulatory filings and approvals now received.
Story image
Veryfi
Veryfi announces Mobile Receipt Capture for D2C marketing apps
Veryfi has announced a new enhancement to its portfolio, with Mobile Receipt Capture for direct-to-consumer marketing apps.
Story image
Adyen
Adyen expands partnership with Afterpay as BNPL payments increase
Adyen has expanded its partnership with AfterPay allowing more of Adyen’s merchants in more countries worldwide to use the BNPL provider.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from IronNet
Michael Ehrlich joins us today to discuss the history of IronNet and the crucial role the company plays in the cyber defence space.
Story image
IT budget
$20m boost for digital technologies announced
The government is spending an extra $20m over four years on its plan to transform the digital technologies industry.
Darktrace
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Story image
Wireless
SmartCIC, BICS partner to expand wireless service options
SmarCIC has partnered with BICS to increase choice for organisations using fixed wireless services, expanding existing carrier relationships for its CELLSMART division.
Story image
BeyondTrust
BeyondTrust integrates Password Safe solution with SailPoint
BeyondTrust has announced the integration of BeyondTrust Password Safe with SailPoint identity security offerings.
Story image
Sustainability
Power at the edge: the role of data centers in sustainability
The Singaporean moratorium on new data center projects was recently lifted, with one of the conditions being an increased focus on power efficiency and sustainability.
Story image
Sustainability
Siemens showcases new automated solutions for data centers
Siemens has implemented new automated solutions and AI in the Baltic region's largest data center, providing insight into the future of data center management.
Story image
VPN
Palo Alto Networks says ZTNA 1.0 not secure enough
Palo Alto Networks is urging the industry to move to Zero Trust Network Access 2.0 because previous versions have major gaps in security protection.
Story image
Power / Energy
SmartCIC report reveals top five 5G carriers in the world
The Global Cellular Performance Survey also found that 5G networks are delivering high download speeds but lagging in upload speeds.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Why enterprise records management should be part of any digital transformation strategy
Modern organisations create and rely upon an enormous volume of content, and digital records make up a significant proportion of that content.
Story image
Cybersecurity
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Physical security systems guide the hybrid workplace to new heights
Organisations are reviewing how data gathered from their physical security systems can optimise, protect and enhance their business operations in unique ways.
Booster
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.
Story image
Employee Retention
Company values increasingly important in post-pandemic world
New research released today reveals that company values are the new currency when it comes to employee retention in a post-covid economy.
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
Employee Experience
Zendesk launches customer service and employee experience offering
"Zendesk is helping businesses embrace this new generation of conversational customer relationship management and turn customer service into growth.”
Softiron
For every 10PB of storage run on HyperDrive vs. comparable alternatives, an estimated 6,656 tonnes of CO₂ are saved by reduced energy consumption alone over its lifespan. That’s the equivalent of taking nearly 1,500 cars off the road for a year.
Link image
Story image
Phishing
Google reveals new safety and security measures for users
Google's new measures include automatic two step verification, virtual cards and making it easier to remove contact information on Google Search results.
Story image
Storage
Energy storage demand momentum continues, says BYD
BYD has announced an expansion of its production capacities and will deliver 250,000 units of its energy storage system, BYD Battery-Box Premium.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Updates from Google Workspace set to ease hybrid working troubles
Google Workspace has announced a variety of new features which will utilise Google AI capabilities to help make hybrid working situations more efficient and effective.
Story image
Sustainability
Grasping the opportunity to rethink the metrics of a sustainable data centre
A data centre traditionally has two distinct operations teams: the Facility Operations team, and the IT Operations team. Collaboration between them is the key to defining, measuring, and delivering long-term efficiency and sustainability improvements.
Story image
Avaya
Avaya OneCloud sees 118% ARR growth for second quarter 2022
Avaya Holdings has reported $750 million annual recurring revenue (ARR) for its OneCloud offering, up 21% sequentially and 118% from the same period last year.
Story image
Cybersecurity
HackerOne launches Attack Resistance Management solution
HackerOne has launched Attack Resistance Management - a new category of security solution that targets the root causes of the attack resistance gap. 
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Datacom, Micro Focus, SnapLogic and VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 6-12, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Databricks strengthens AWS partnership with new Lakehouse offering
Customers will experience faster onboarding and unified account administration to make building a Databricks Lakehouse on AWS easier.
Story image
Cybersecurity
CyberArk launches $30M investment fund to advance security
CyberArk has announced the launch of CyberArk Ventures, a $30 million global investment fund dedicated to advancing the next generation of security disruptors.
Story image
Kodari Securities (KOSEC)
NFT trends and opportunities: expert reveals all
The NFT market is growing at an exponential rate, with unprecedented liquidity. Here we explore how businesses can profit.
Story image
Remote Working
How organisations can meet employees' changing expectations
The global employment market has shifted dramatically in favour of employees, sparking the so-called great resignation, in which people are leaving unsatisfying roles in search of greener pastures.
Story image
Mobility
Hands-on review: STM laptop bags
The advent of hybrid working has meant we need laptop bags. We got our hands on two of the most popular laptop bags from STM.
Story image
BitTitan
Why tenant consolidation is critical to cloud success
Consolidating tenants can improve cost management, security and engagement after a flurry of reactive activity following the widespread shift to remote operations.
Story image
Ransomware
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
ForgeRock releases Autonomous Access solution powered by AI
ForgeRock has officially introduced ForgeRock Autonomous Access, a new solution that uses AI to prevent identity-based cyber attacks and fraud.
Story image
Excel
Could your Excel practices be harming your business?
While Excel has been the de-facto standard for budgeting, planning, and forecasting, is it alone, enough to support organisations in the global marketplace that’s facing rapid changes due to digital transformation?
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
ANU and Seeing Machines to use AI to improve driver safety
The Australian National University and Seeing Machines have won a grant to develop AI systems monitor human behaviour while driving.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft unveils adaptive accessories for disability access
Microsoft is introducing an expansive Inclusive Tech Lab to give people with disabilities greater access to technology through new software features and adaptive accessories.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.