Jorgen Heizenberg Gartner: People-oriented culture is becoming increasingly important

The digital transformation is about much more than just technology. It is becoming more and more clear that the human side certainly requires as much attention, especially in light of the scarcity of the labor market and the increasing importance of sustainability. VP analyst Jørgen Heizenberg considers this theme in connection with Data, Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.

“What our customers deal with every day is data, analytics and artificial intelligence,” said Gartner VP Analyst Jorgen Heizenberg. “It has of course been on the agenda of the organizations for some time, but we see that it has accelerated enormously in the past two years. I have been working in this field for over 25 years now and I don’t think it has gone as fast as it is now. More and more people are becoming interested in this subject and they are beginning to better understand what it is and what it can do.”

“In practice, we see many interesting initiatives emerging, it is really growing explosively. This development is of course good news on the one hand. But there is sometimes a downside, because in practice there is a great lack of knowledge, of employees with the right skills in data and analysis teams. The market simply cannot meet that demand.”

“This is an interesting development and a notable complication when it comes to digital transformation. Research shows that most organizations see data, analytics and artificial intelligence as an accelerator. Even when they don’t mention it explicitly, it’s often implicitly there. “

“For example, when they talk about improving customer experience for customers. This often includes customer analytics. Or supply chain improvement that includes operational analytics. In short, I think we can now conclude that data, analytics and artificial intelligence play an important role almost always and everywhere.”

IT Symposium
This development is well in line with the theme of the IT Symposium: Meet the moment, make a difference. “Every business moment contains data and analyses. This is also how you as an organization can make a difference. The theme for the IT Symposium is therefore quite appropriately chosen.”

One of the trends in data, analytics and artificial intelligence, within the framework of the broader trend of sustainability, is the use of this technology ‘for good’. Heizenberg has recently researched this phenomenon. “As mentioned, you see data and analyzes everywhere. And you need people, like data engineers and data scientists, to get started on that. The big challenge is finding these people and how do you keep them involved in your organization? In my latest publication, I offer some recommendations to look at this problem from a different perspective. For example, you don’t always need to look for the person with two years of experience and knowledge of three programming languages. Maybe there is someone in your organization who may not have the experience, but who has the aptitude.”

“Gartner also sees that there is a clear shift going on, also beyond data and analytics, to the values ​​that surround a function. It is no longer just a matter of how much you get paid, but also what you can learn and whether you feel at home in an organization. In short, the human side is becoming increasingly important.”

“One of our recommendations is to ensure that people can develop in an organization, for example by engaging in a data-for-good initiative. So, in addition to the time they spend for the company on, for example, optimizing the business process, they also have room to tackle a data and analysis project for a good cause. It is an effective means of recruiting and retaining staff.”

However, it is important not to approach it purely transactionally. “It is important to ensure that it supports what you as an organization find important. So make sure it fits your organization’s culture. So try to avoid ‘greenwashing’ and don’t do it just to attract staff. Do it precisely because you believe that you as an organization must also have a social goal, in addition to a commercial goal.”

“We see it appearing more and more in practice. Research shows that more and more organizations are taking sustainability seriously, often as part of an ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) initiative. Climate change, helping people, fighting poverty are things that companies are increasingly involved in alongside their commercial activities. It’s nice to see that the knife cuts both ways. A people-oriented culture is becoming more and more important than just profit maximization.”

“The companies see very well that the world is changing and that they no longer only have to deal with shareholders in the commercial model, but that they also have to take into account stakeholders for the social part. Of course, they do not stop their commercial activities to save the world, but they increasingly take into account the social aspects, such as their impact on the environment. We see this reflected, for example, in the ESG reports that more and more companies publish. They are increasingly intrinsically motivated to contribute to a better world.”

“This also means that the CIO’s role is changing and should have more people-oriented components. “Instead of a traditional platform-oriented attitude, the human side will have to play a role. For example, the CIO needs to think more about balancing their teams. How can they ensure that they not only have technical experts in their team, but also people who have more knowledge about, for example, the business domain. Or how do they ensure that, in addition to people who have a very strong analytical character, they also include people in their team who are more empathetic.”

In addition, the CIO will have to think about the changes that are happening in society, the changes in the labor market and let all these external factors affect their own tasks and responsibilities. “And also for them, if they want to attract and retain employees, they can’t get away from the people-oriented approach.”

“In practice, we see that it is increasingly recognized by the CIO, and they are also eager to contribute to these kinds of initiatives. I think the old image that some may still have of the CIO as the head of the boiler house is shifting. Most CIOs really understand that tools and technology are not the end, but the means, and that they can support them in realizing all kinds of changes in their organization.”

Author: Marco van der Hoeven

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