In what seems like an impossibly short time, and following a quite remarkable couple of years, 2022 is upon us. And with the transition from one year to another comes a common theme: Annual budgets and plans for the coming year.
What has been astounding about the past 18+ months is how many companies - particularly in the tech space - have not just thrived, but achieved significant growth.
VC’s are investing now more than ever before. Back in October, 2021, tech magazine Wired reported that VC investment has hit a record $240bn in 2021, with another record-breaking 264 companies hitting “Unicorn” status the same year in the US alone. In parallel, non-US companies are reaching the target $1bn market valuation on a weekly basis.
In addition to (or, potentially, as a byproduct of) record investment comes peak spend: Gartner is forecasting almost half a trillion in cloud spend next year, as companies invest to ensure they have the right systems and architecture to support business growth. 61% of respondents to a recent Chiefmartec.com survey will increase their Martech investment next year, while Forbes also forecast the global ads market at over $700 billion in 2022.
As companies aim to achieve significant year-on-year revenue growth in 2022, with many entering or continuing phases of “hypergrowth”, they can’t simply spend their way into success.
Startup Genome reported recently that startups which scale too fast are more likely to fail, while companies which scale responsibly grow at a 20x rate over those who grow too quickly.
Forbes also identifies the red flags of scaling too quickly: Thinly stretched resources, a lack of effective systems and processes, and sub-par and/or excessive middle management - all of which result in low morale, inability to meet customer expectations and ultimately, the failure that a reported 74% of startups experience.
A great example of rushing into decisions on the technology front is Zoom.
When paying a little attention goes a long way
Thanks to the pandemic, the company scaled from 10m daily users in December 2019 up to 300m by April 2020. Yet, Zoom is beset by security issues, resulting in a recent $85m class action lawsuit - not the first of its kind.
Zoom is also notorious among IT, Ops, and recruitment/onboarding teams for being difficult to integrate with other platforms, and emblematic platforms such as Zoom probably go a long way to explain why among respondents to a Chiefmartec.com survey, 44% identified “easy and fast to integrate” as a top priority for selecting new platforms.
This obviously comes as a surprise to us, since Integromat can integrate Zoom (or nearly any other relevant tool) with pretty much anything else a marketing/sales, recruitment & HR or any departmental operations stack may require.
However, what happened also emphasizes that scores of companies that rushed in to onboard Zoom, and in doing so, put personal data of staff and customers at risk. This could have been prevented by spending a little extra time and attention on the right evaluation process.
People, platforms, processes
The costs of scaling too quickly, or making the wrong decisions, are not insignificant. CIODive estimates that 30% of all SaaS spend goes to waste, either from decisions being made too quickly without due diligence, or new platforms simply not delivering what was promised by their Sales and Marketing departments.
Meanwhile the U.S Department of Labor estimates the cost of making a bad hire to be up to 30% of that employee’s annual salary, and with employee turnover at a record high during the “Great Resignation”, this is costing companies billions of dollars.
The earlier Forbes article references bloated middle-management as a common sign of premature internal growth, which has a negative knock-on effect on talented senior “do-ers”.
In a similar vein, The Predictive Index identified “burnout”, bad management (with 63% of those who reported having a bad manager considering quitting their current role), and lack of autonomy as the top causes of resignations in 2020.
The Great Resignation saw 4 million US employees quit their jobs in 2020 alone, including an increase of around 20% in the 30-45 age range and, interestingly, a 4.5% increase among employees in tech companies, according to the Harvard Business Review. Similar numbers have been noted across the UK and other major economies.
Ultimately, companies must ensure that they are building internally to support the level of revenue growth they are aspiring to.
Such growth requires strong planning, the right technology, and capable people in both decision-making (“thinking”) and execution (“doing”) positions to help the company grow and, ultimately, succeed.
These three areas - people, platforms, and processes - are intrinsically linked across all departments in every organization, and the success (or failure) of any growing company can be attributed to a combination of the three working well, or not.
So where “people”, “platforms” and “processes” are so intrinsically linked to the point of circularity, what can companies currently in planning for 2022 do to make sure they succeed in their growth plans?
We’ve identified three things to consider in the planning process to ensure success in 2022:
1. Investing a little extra time in decision-making will have positive long-term impact
Given how much time and money is wasted on either premature or poor decision making, it will pay dividends to take a little more time to make sure the right decision has been made.
Is there an extra step which can be taken in the recruitment process to make sure the right hires, especially at senior level, are being made?
Getting the right answer to this question is particularly relevant given the impact the right or wrong senior hires can have across the business.
Similarly, when implementing new technologies, the extra time needed to put together a full scope of requirements and to ensure new platforms have been thoroughly vetted will ensure less wastage and duplication of capabilities, and more efficient use of departmental budgets.
2. Set the priorities for each decision-making process, and focus the decision on what matters the most
Budget holders, IT and Operations staff should have a rigid selection process for new tools, with the right priorities identified at the evaluation stage.
For example, prioritizing the functional capabilities of new platforms and not their ability to integrate (since we can help with that!) will ensure better choices are made, resulting in higher uptake, better digital experiences, and better ROI from tech purchases - and hopefully a lot less than 30% budget wastage!
Positive transformation of the enterprise requires the best-in-class platforms; and that counts for integration platforms as well.
3. Focus on creating “harmony”
Since we’ve identified how impactful decisions regarding people and technology can be, and how important processes are in the deciding and onboarding, there then comes a circularity issue.
Purchasing and onboarding the right technology, or hiring and onboarding new staff, requires the right selection process. In turn, this demands having the right people driving the processes and making decisions, which comes from a rigorous selection process at a more senior level (ad infinitum).
While the foundation of any organization starts with people, no unicorns (nor any successful enterprise) have reached that status without understanding this one essential truth: Harmony between the technology, the people involved at all levels of the organization, and the various processes designed to support business growth are all fundamentally important.
Synergy between people, platform and process are necessary for the successful growth of the business, and so creating harmony between these three pillars of growth will also create positive outcomes for the business - for your business.
Earlier in the article, we mentioned how 44% of marketers are needlessly prioritizing integration capabilities as a top priority in buying new tech.
Moreover, we’re seeing this across other departments too, including HR and recruitment, finance, and even product development.
Integrating applications in a visual, no-code platform, and facilitating multi-platform workflows and automations means that the ability of the platforms you might be looking to integrate into your existing stack no longer needs to be a top priority.
If you’d like to see how Integromat works, why visual integration is the future of no-code integrations and what our product can do for you, then you might consider booking a personalized demo to find out more!
Wishing you all the success for 2022, and happy planning!