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Leadership in Digital Age: Comfort with Uncertainty Outweighs ‘Control’- Sage

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The C-suite executives and HR leaders that will succeed in the era of digital change and global economic and political uncertainty will be those that are the most curious and adaptable rather than those that are rigid and hierarchical, said Sage, the market leader for integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems.

That is one of the key insights to emerge in the first episode of Invisible Admin: Conversations about the future of work – a series of podcasts from Sage and Inquisition.

A good leader in the past was regarded as a person who was certain about what needed to be done. But with technology, economic and political change unfolding at such a rapid pace, today’s leaders operate in a world that is less certain, said Graeme Codrington, an expert on the future world of work and founder of TomorrowToday.

Strategies developed today may need to change tomorrow in response to new competition, new technology or different economic circumstances.

Anja Van Beek, vice president of People (HR) at Sage International (Africa, Middle East, Asia & Australia), said that as globalisation and new technology challenge managers’ traditional mindsets, they also need to relook the profile of the people they employ. They need to build teams that are comfortable with change and ambiguity – and that in turn demands that they think about training, recruitment and management in new ways.

The On-The-Go Workforce
The pace of change in today’s working environment and Millenials joining the workforce both demand a new approach to training and development.

While it is important to deliver lifelong learning, organisations should make content available in a way that suits today’s on-the-go workforce—for example, digestible chunks of online video or audio content that can be listened to in the car on the way to work or at the gym.

“Rather than forcing employees to learn in classroom type training sessions, we should accommodate them by giving them access to materials on their mobile devices,” said Van Beek. “They should be able to learn at work or in their own time, at their own pace and in formats that meet their needs.”

It is also important to encourage innovation and experimentation on-the-job to create a responsive and innovative workforce. Leaders and employees should read widely and share what they learn with their teams. Van Beek suggests that this should be integrated into the company in the form or ‘book review’ sessions – or even a company ‘book club’.

Experimentation Key to Responsiveness
Many leaders know that they are facing uncertainty but aren’t quite sure how to start adapting to it. Codrington says that the easiest, simplest way to start this journey is to encourage teams to experiment.

Experiments can be small or large, but the key is to start questioning long held assumptions about the way we work and why we things in a specific way. For example, one could test out allowing people to work from home for two days a week and monitor productivity levels or do away with email updates and meetings for a week and see what happens. Over time, this approach will help companies become more responsive to changes in the environment.

The End of One-Size-Fits-All Workplaces
Codrington says that another shift leaders must prepare for is the move to a more personalised work experience rather than the one-size-fits-all HR practices of the past. For example, people expect to learn on their own terms.

Where training and development once needed to be standardised for the sake of efficiency and control, digital tools give organisations the flexibility to customise training programmes and track them efficiently.

In practice, said Van Beek, that may mean gathering data about employees and using analytics to see what they expect from the workplace and how they feel about the employer brand. Anonymous employee surveys can be a useful tool in this regard; it’s also important to communicate with employees using different mediums, whether that’s video or Twitter.

Ultimately, said Codrington, the behaviours that the millennial generation is bringing into the workforce will become pervasive.

They are the customers and employees of the future and they expect to find a collaborative, connected and personalised work experience. Leaders that tap into their ability to multi-task, cope with uncertainty and leverage technology will be positioned for success.

Sage, the market leader for integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems, is releasing five Invisible Admin: Conversations about the future of work podcasts ahead of its annual Sage Summit that will take place in Johannesburg on 7-9 March 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre.

 

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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E-Business

FG Can Tap $13Bn New Tax Revenue with Digital ID Programmes

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Nigeria is seen generating $13 billion in additional tax revenue if she could digitalise her identification programmes.

 

This is according to a new McKinsey Global Institute report, which claims that high adoption of digital ID with the right principles can help unlock 3 percent economic value equivalent of GDP in advanced economies and as much as 6 percent in emerging economies on average.

 

The report, which offers a framework to understand the potential economic impact of “good” use of digital ID, analyzed nearly 100 ways in which digital ID can be used, with deep dives into seven diverse economies: Nigeria, Ethiopia, Brazil, China, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

 

“We estimate that Nigeria could use digital ID to expand the tax base to include informal income and reduce fraud and errors in tax filing to generate more than $13 billion in additional tax revenue. Nigerians could save 1.8 billion hours annually from efficient services that reduce the need for travel to and from government offices and filing of physical paperwork,” said Fiyinfolu Oladiran, a McKinsey partner.

 

Eyitope Kola-Oyeneyin, Nigerian-based Partner at McKinsey equally said the Digital ID potential for Nigeria is significant and that based on MGI estimates, Nigeria could capture economic value equivalent to 5 to 7 percent of GDP by 2030 from greater formalization, fraud reduction, increased tax revenue, and financial inclusion.

 

“Scaling Digital ID in Nigeria has to be a top priority for enabling inclusive growth,” he said.

 

Around the world, governments and businesses are implementing digital identification programmes with mixed results and adoption levels. Yet when carefully designed, “good” use of digital ID programs can help people participate more fully in their economy and society, which can create enormous economic value and inclusive growth, the report said.

 

“We find that three-quarters of the potential economic value of digital ID could accrue to individuals in Nigeria, making it a powerful key to inclusive growth, while the rest flows to private-sector and government institutions,” said Rogerio Mascarenhas, managing partner of McKinsey’s Nigeria office.

 

He added that the largely informal and self-employed workforce skews the overall benefits of digital ID toward individuals, who could receive 74 percent of the total overall value.

 

He started that Nigeria’s unmet financial needs are significant. 60 percent of the adult population, or about 64.5 million individuals, do not have a bank account and therefore may be cut off from access to credit or the ability to deposit income.

 

“The World Bank found that 18 percent of the unbanked population in Nigeria cited a lack of identification documentation as the primary reason for not opening an account. We estimate that increased lending to individuals and businesses resulting from an expanded deposit base could generate up to $21 billion in additional investment by 2030,” says Amuche Okeke-Agba, a McKinsey partner.

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FG restates Support for Galaxy Backbone eGovernance Programme

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Boss Mustapha, secretary to the Government of the Federation, has said that the the Federal Government will continue to support Galaxy Backbone Limited to ensure efficiency in its e-governance programme.

 

Willie Bassey, director of Information in the Office of the SGF in a statement on Friday in Abuja, said that the SGF stated this during a visit to the Galaxy Backbone.

 

Mustapha said the federal government had committed huge investments in the development of Information and Communication Technology sector of the economy.

 

He said efficiency and effectiveness in the sector would help deliver on government’s e-governance programme.

 

According to him, the training of 1,000 public servants on e-governance will enhance the efficiency and productivity of officers in the service.

 

The SGF said that Galaxy Backbone had recorded remarkable achievements in the development of ICT in the country.

 

He said that the achievements of the organisation would enhance the deployment of ICT to drive government programmes and policies.

 

Earlier, Yusuf Kazaure, managing director/chief executive officer of the Galaxy BackBone, said the organisation had covered 11 states and the FCT in its e-governance programme.

 

He said that the areas already covered were under the first phase of the programme, adding that efforts were on to commence the second phase which would cover the entire country.

 

He said with continued Federal Government support, the organisation would continue to deliver on its mandates.

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Gartner Predicts Global IT Spending to Grow 1.1% in 2019

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Worldwide IT spending is projected to total US$3.79-trillion in 2019, an increase of 1.1% from 2018, according to the latest forecast by Gartner.

“Currency headwinds fuelled by the strengthening US dollar have caused us to revise our 2019 IT spending forecast down from the previous quarter,” said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. “Through the remainder of 2019, the US dollar is expected to trend stronger, while enduring tremendous volatility due to uncertain economic and political environments and trade wars.

“In 2019, technology product managers will have to get more strategic around their portfolio mix by balancing products and services that will post growth in 2019 with those larger markets that will trend flat to down,” said Lovelock. “Successful product managers in 2020 will have had a long-term view to the changes made in 2019.”

According to Gartner the datacentre systems segment will experience the largest decline in 2019 with a decrease of 2.8%.

The research and market analysis firm says this is mainly due to expected lower average selling prices (ASPs) in the server market driven by adjustments in the pattern of expected component costs.

The shift of enterprise IT spending from traditional (non-cloud) offerings to new, cloud-based alternatives is continuing to drive growth in the enterprise software market.

In 2019, the market is forecast to reach US$427-billion, up 7.1% from US$399-billion in 2018. The largest cloud shift has so far occurred in application software.

However, Gartner expects increased growth for the infrastructure software segment in the near-term, particularly in integration platform as a service (iPaaS) and application platform as a service (aPaaS).

Lovelock added, “The choices CIOs make about technology investments are essential to the success of digital business. Disruptive emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), will reshape business models as well as the economics of public- and private-sector enterprises.

“AI is having a major effect on IT spending, although its role is often misunderstood. AI is not a product, it is really a set of techniques or a computer engineering discipline. As such, AI is being embedded in many existing products and services, as well as being central to new development efforts in every industry.

Gartner’s AI business value forecast predicts that organisations will receive $1.9 trillion worth of benefit from the use of AI this year alone.”

In November 2018 Gartner said IT spending in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) would reach US$973-billion in 2019, representing a 2% increase compared with 2018.

Lovelock was quoted at the time as saying: “2018 is not a good year for IT spending in EMEA. The 5.8% growth witnessed in 2018 includes a 4% currency tailwind driven by the euro’s increase in value against the US dollar.”

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