Box, Okta, Slack and Zoom recently hosted a panel with four of our own forward-thinking technology leaders who shape our IT strategies and are in tune with the state of IT across different industries. The discussion covered a range of topics, from the evolving needs of the workforce, to how IT can architect a modern tech stack, to how to create a business case for best-of-breed software. The panelists included Paul Chapman, CIO of Box, Stephen Franchetti, VP of Business Technology at Slack, Diya Jolly, CPO of Okta and Harry Moseley, CIO of Zoom.
The recording is available here if you’d like to listen to all of the panel’s valuable insights.
If you’re short on time, here are the top 3 takeaways:
The employee experience is a critical factor that IT cannot ignore
By 2020, half of the workforce will be millennials who grew up in a digital, mobile-first world (1). These employees expect their workplace tools to provide the same delightful, productive experience as their personal tools - whether they're logging in at the office, at home or on the road. The companies that are successful today are the ones embracing and tackling head-on this shift in employee expectations.
The pace of change in business has been rapid, with several Fortune 500 companies being displaced since 2000. As Paul Chapman, CIO of Box, noted: "If you look at the companies that are causing this disruption, they are not disrupted by technology. They’re enabled by technology. Technology-enabled companies have a different way of thinking and operating and culturally are different."
Employees demand choice, which presents challenges that IT can overcome
"As the CIO, you're not the person who has to go convince the organization that this is what they should be using. The organization is telling you.” - Paul Chapman, CIO of Box
Employees today are choosing the tools they want to use in the workplace, which creates a need for IT to be flexible with the tools they incorporate as part of their tech stacks. Diya Jolly, CPO of Okta, noted that IT needs “to support a diverse range of apps within their organizations, sometimes apps that do similar things.”
Slack offered itself as a case study of this: they use 300 pieces of software to run their business. But how does IT manage this influx of tools in the workplace? The key is interoperability: selecting tools that work seamlessly with other tools. As Stephen Franchetti, VP of Business Technology at Slack, noted, "We've been intentional about building an open architecture to give the best experience for employees, partners and customers."
There is a clear business case to be made for best-of-breed tools
While the panelists acknowledged that the cost of new tools can occasionally present an initial hurdle, they agreed that it can be easily overcome because concrete business value can be attributed to deploying the best tools. As Harry Moseley, CIO of Zoom, shared, selecting the right tools "drives revenue, collaboration, commitment and loyalty."
What’s more, the flexibility that best-of-breed tools provide saves IT time and enhances productivity. As Paul Chapman explained, “As you start to think about the freedom from infrastructure, the freedom from direct operational overhead, as you start to move to the systems of innovation that are highly reliable and highly scalable [...] there are a tremendous amount of things that you are offsetting that you would ordinarily have to care for to run the business. That is a massive giveback of time to you as a CIO, that you can spend on higher value activities.”
It's clear that in today's rapidly evolving business landscape, companies that embrace modern technology can experience greater success, from happier and more productive workforces, to more agile and secure businesses. Thanks to all of our panelists for participating and for sharing their insights about the future of work.
Want to hear more? Check out the full webinar recording.
(1) Inc.com, "The (Millennial) Workplace of the Future Is Almost Here," Jan. 2019.