Nearly three out of four employees (71 percent) feel their job complexity continues to rise as customer demands increase. But employees at all levels report feeling overloaded with information, systems, and processes, making it difficult for them to adapt to these new challenges and meet their customers’ growing needs, according to new research from Pegasystems on the state of business complexity.
As the pandemic bore down, most businesses rushed to deploy digital transformation projects to help address this new reality. But the findings of the firm’s new survey, conducted by research firm Savanta, suggest these initiatives either didn’t go far enough or were implemented in silos without a unified vision. In fact, 42 percent of respondents think that digital transformation may have even increased their job complexity—a surprising perception that should cause some organizations to reexamine their digital approach.
“With business complexity on the rise, organizational leaders need to rethink their digital transformation strategies,” said Tom Libretto, chief marketing officer at Pega, in a news release. “Too many businesses applied quicks fixes in the early days of the pandemic that were siloed in nature and simply didn’t go far enough. Now it’s time to take a step back and implement a smarter, holistic, and unified approach—one that simplifies and streamlines workflows so employees can thrive and customers succeed. Our new survey helps businesses understand why they continue to suffer with complexity so they have the insights to reset their digital transformation agenda and better cope with change no matter where it comes from next.”
But before they can redefine a new strategy to reduce business complexity, organizations must first understand the key drivers that are rapidly increasing it. Survey respondents identified a mix of organizational, technological, and societal factors that are adding complexity to their jobs, the top of which include:
- Managing information overload, reported by 90 percent of respondents
- Navigating internal processes and bureaucracy (89 percent)
- Managing projects, teams, and people (88 percent)
- Keeping pace with rapid change (87 percent)
- Lack of resources (86 percent)
How can businesses better address these complexity drivers? According to survey respondents, they should start by breaking down technological silos. The presence of too many/different systems was the top technology issue driving complexity in their organization, selected by 43 percent of respondents. When asked what businesses can do to make their technology experience less complex, their top remedy was to deploy systems that more easily integrate with other technologies (selected by 40 percent of respondents). This suggests that businesses need to take a more unified approach to digital transformation as opposed to piecemeal projects implemented in isolation.
The survey also highlighted how the pandemic specifically contributed to the acceleration of business complexity in a number of ways:
- Overall, most employees (56 percent) feel the pandemic will make business more complex in the long run.
- One in three employees (35 percent) think hybrid work arrangements make business more complex. When asked why, 38 percent said hybrid work makes it more challenging to set boundaries between their work and personal lives.
- Nearly one in three employees (32 percent) think the pandemic makes it more difficult to find the right people to hire, while 61 percent say their company cannot attract talent with the necessary tech skills to do the jobs properly.
With the pandemic triggering rapid change, many employees want their organization to adapt even faster: one out of three reported their organization moves too slowly to react to change. But despite its own complexity, technology still remains the key to streamlining their job functions, as 98 percent agree that technology is vital to getting their jobs done right.
The global survey was conducted during January and February 2022 to understand the evolving nature of business complexity.