C-suite agenda for 2022. How can you solve existing business challenges?

C-suite business challenges

The majority of C-suite, or C-level, officials are not trained to tackle unexpected, sophisticated, and evolving disruptions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Conference Board study of 2022, less than 40% of CEOs state they are well prepared for issues caused by an economic crisis, which may put into question the resilience of their organizations. However, if enterprises apply innovative business models and adapt to the new conditions promptly, they can not just remain competitive but increase revenue and achieve prosperity.

In this article, our experts will consider the C-suite agenda for 2022 and suggest solutions to problems faced by companies at the moment.

The key issues in the C-suite agenda for 2022

1. Labor shortage

The talent shortage is among the main issues on the C-suite agenda for 2022. Triggering an economic recession, the coronavirus pandemic forced enterprises of all sizes to struggle with a shrinking labor pool. The iCIMS 2022 Workforce Report found that over 90% of business leaders believe their organization would not achieve its targets without the right talent.

Analysts also revealed that more than 80% of respondents encountered a negative effect of the Great Resignation. In the US, only 11% of participants stated that their companies were not short-staffed last year due to insufficient personnel resources caused by COVID-19. The Bureau of Labor Statistics informs that the US voluntary attrition climbed by nearly 800,000 in 2021 whilst involuntary attrition reduced by approximately 400,000.

According to the ManpowerGroup research, the shortage of workers in the US is ten years high. Experts say that around 69% of US businesses are putting in great efforts to find skilled employees. Additionally, organizations are experiencing significant problems when searching for applicants in trades, IT, sales, and marketing jobs.

In the face of a diminishing supply of candidates and market uncertainty, C-level executives need to rethink how they search, engage, and onboard specialists. Outsourcing may become the best method to access the necessary expertise while saving costs. Since this model offers plenty of benefits, the demand for it is expected to surge.

The business process outsourcing market is forecasted to account for $525.2 billion by 2030, showcasing a CAGR of 9.1% during 2022–2030. The key driving factors are the growing demand for outsourcing across BFSI, Information Technology (IT), telecommunication, and human resource sectors.

To attract and retain workers, employers should offer a flexible schedule, work-from-home opportunities, career prospects, and various benefits. PR Newswire reports that enterprises are going to increase salaries by virtually 7% on average in 2022 while a third of C-suite leaders plan to raise wages by over 10%.

Recent research published by Gartner shows that upskilling is a more effective strategy than the recruitment of applicants. This way, a lot of C-suite officials have already realigned their budgets from hiring new professionals to increasing the qualification or reskilling existing labor. For this purpose, they provide training and coaching programs.

With an e-learning application, it is possible to design courses, monitor user progress, and determine candidates’ strong and weak sides. Another way is to integrate advanced software systems to automate human resource management (HRM) processes, from vacancy publication to onboarding.

At Arateg, we developed a web solution of this kind that allowed our client to easily manage recruitment and onboarding processes. With the platform, the company was able to cut hiring costs by 30% and save nearly 2 months per applicant.

C-suite executives should also create a positive, inclusive corporate culture. For instance, firms can connect candidates with in-house teams before the first day of their work.

2. Shifts in consumer behavior

The COVID-19 pandemic stipulated significant shifts in consumer behavior. Forced to stay at home and keep a social distance, people were encouraged to use their tech devices for almost everything, from making purchases to studying and performing job activities.

C-suite executives, in turn, discovered new opportunities to deliver their services and engage the audience. C-Suite Outlook 2022 says that modifying a business model and applying a more customer-centric approach are the top ten priorities for CEOs worldwide. Aiming to meet changing consumer habits and remain competitive, companies need to rapidly adjust to new market conditions and offer an amazing user experience.

Organizations can use a variety of options to achieve these purposes. Here are some of them:

  • Develop a website or/and application to interact with the audience, open a new sales channel, and generate profit.
  • Incorporate an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot that will provide client support 24/7 and instantly answer frequently asked questions while simultaneously processing multiple inquiries.
  • Integrate data analytics to monitor user behavior, receive a 360-degree of each customer, and launch more targeted advertising campaigns.
  • Make personalized offerings based on user preferences. With this goal in view, it is possible to implement machine learning algorithms to collect data such as search and purchase histories.
  • Redesign existing products (for example, company offerings, apps, websites) and create a brand identity.

Since enterprises across different sectors are applying technological advancements and revamping new approaches, consumers have more choices than ever. As a consequence, 66% of customers expect brands to understand their needs and considerations.

According to Salesforce, 80% of survey participants state that the user experience delivered by a brand is as vital as its products and services. Instapage reports that 74% of visitors feel frustrated when the content of a website is not personalized.

However, investment in software solutions is only a part of a digital transformation strategy. C-suite officials should also focus on employee upskilling, change management, and process reengineering to win the audience and gain a competitive edge.

3. Cybersecurity threats

Cybersecurity threats (phishing, malware, ransomware, unauthorized access, etc.) are among the primary C-suite challenges in 2022. Today, organizations worry about the risk of data vulnerabilities, ransomware attacks, and viruses even more than about natural disasters, the coronavirus pandemic, and supply chain disruptions.

Top 10 cybersecurity threats

In 2021, enterprises encountered 50% more cyberattack attempts on a weekly basis. Business Wire informs that the number of data breaches has been over 1,200 to date, which is a 17% rise in comparison with the previous year. It is worth noting that the potential damage of a data breach amounted to $3.86 million globally and $8.64 million in the US. This price includes the cost of downtime, lost income, response to the breach, and negative reputational exposure.

Furthermore, experts at Business Wire found that the frequency of ransomware doubled in 2021. Another report says that ransomware cost firms and institutions worldwide $20 billion last year, with this figure projected to reach $265 billion by 2031. The research also found that 37 percent of all companies were hit by ransomware in 2021.

Remote and hybrid workflows posed new challenges on the C-suite agenda. Now, organizations have to develop and maintain the IT infrastructure that will support work in either home or offices while ensuring data security and privacy.

As cybersecurity threats are becoming more devastating, enterprises need to look beyond conventional approaches to enabling network monitoring and risk management. On top of that, achieving the highest security level has to be a vital part of a business continuity strategy.

While society still grapples with the pandemic, organizations are also trying to get a handle on cybersecurity against new vulnerabilities and different types of attacks.

Using innovative technologies, mitigation tools, and protocols, companies can safeguard systems, devices, and sensitive information. For instance, C-suite officials can employ new platform approaches like cloud-native application protection platforms (CNAPP), security service edge (SSE), as well as extended detection and response (XDR).

Traditional methods to protect against cybersecurity attacks involve antivirus software, next-generation firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and domain name system (DNS) filtering. It is also essential to use an identity and access management (IAM) system. With the view to prevent potential threats, it is also possible to create an AI solution for monitoring network/infrastructure, assessing risks, identifying and blocking suspicious activities.

4. Automating business processes

Traditionally, employees have to manually perform a variety of activities, from making reporting to request processing and lead management. With paper-based workflows, data search and document maintenance may require a lot of time and effort.

Overstrained with repetitive and data-intensive tasks, experts often do not have the possibility to focus on their core business, this way having to work extra hours. In accounting departments, for example, the average amount of avoidable rework may consume up to 30% of a specialist’s time, as reported to Gartner.

Concerning a company with 40 full-time accountants, this equates to savings of 25,000 hours annually if using RPA (robotic process automation), a type of business process automation software. Briefly speaking, RPA bots are software agents that replicate human activities and act according to predefined scenarios when interacting with digital systems.

While it is possible to digitize the majority of tasks, C-suite executives need to think about how they can take advantage. Thanks to specialized software, enterprises can streamline numerous processes, including:

  • Sales and marketing
  • Inventory management
  • Warehousing
  • Order management
  • Invoice management
  • Accounting
  • Customer support
  • Retail lending
  • Supply chain management
  • Human resource management

As a result, firms and institutions can improve client engagement, raise efficiency, and cut down expenses. Relieved from carrying out a part of tedious tasks, specialists will be able to devote themselves to more important, revenue-generating activities.

Since workflow automation offers so many advantages, it is among the key C-suite challenges for 2022. However, increased digitization will encourage C-level executives to focus on team training for ensuring that employees are ready for a shift in their responsibilities.

5. Increasing efficiency through cloud migration

Prior to the invention of cloud computing, enterprises were forced to acquire licensed software while configuring infrastructure on-premise. In order to create digital solutions, organizations had to purchase hardware and software. As a result, processes such as server installation, platform maintenance, and resource scaling required a lot of time and effort.

Cloud computing aims to address these issues by providing on-demand access to the necessary resources (servers, operating systems, data centers, networking, storage, etc.) over the Internet. With cloud computing services, businesses can enable data backup, disaster recovery, and data processing in real time.

On-premise, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS solutions comparison

Furthermore, it allows for automating app deployment, facilitating infrastructure maintenance, and reducing expenses. By employing a cloud-first approach, firms and institutions can enhance data security and improve software developer productivity while achieving system scalability, performance, and resilience.

As cloud computing means that the service is available via the Internet, it can help enterprises establish remote collaboration, vital during disruptions like the COVID-19 outbreak. However, although digital transformation—along with the pandemic—stipulated the growing demand for cloud computing, many organizations still do not use it.

While this model offers a range of benefits, C-suite officials should think about migrating to the cloud for ensuring business continuity and saving costs. Aiming to take advantage, 85% of companies will implement a cloud-first strategy within the next five years, according to Gartner.

6. Supply chain disruptions

Caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, complex economic environment, and labor shortage, supply chain bottlenecks (i.e., delays, variability) are one of the main challenges on the C-suite agenda in 2022. The unexpected surge in consumer demand has led to a global traffic jam of historic proportions.

CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly reports that the beginning of this year has seen a record for container import volumes. In February 2022, US import volumes spiked 12% compared to 2021 and 38% compared to February 2020. Analysts also inform about the increased demand for various products. Durable goods have witnessed the highest popularity, with the demand soaring by 9.7%.

Additionally, geopolitical crises and inflation may trigger other disruptions. These issues are poised to put more pressure on the worldwide logistics infrastructure this year. However, it is possible to address this challenge of C-suite executives by adopting transformative technologies, such as AI and blockchain.

For instance, organizations can use AI software to proactively monitor consumer demand, determine supply, and manage inventory. With the internet of things (IoT) and blockchain, market players can achieve supply chain visibility and protect against counterfeiting.

By placing a unique digital ID on every product, enterprises become able to trace its lifecycle. All stakeholders (suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, etc.) can be added to the blockchain system to view reports and records, this way receiving end-to-end supply chain transparency. Employing IoT, businesses can track the location of trucks and even product storage conditions.

On top of that, C-suite officials can extend warehouses and hold more inventory, diversify their supply chains, as well as move processes closer to customers. Business leaders can also change focus from vertical integration to securing existing control points.

Final thoughts

Despite disruptions such as the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertain market environment, companies need to ensure business continuity. For this purpose, it is crucial to use new approaches and cutting-edge technologies. Through digitization and thoughtful planning, enterprises can gain a competitive advantage, engage customers, and increase revenues.

To accomplish their objectives, C-suite executives should analyze existing workflows and efficiency metrics to identify fields for improvement. Organizations should also consider their resources in order to align budgets properly.

If you are looking to create a software solution, feel free to contact our team. We will get back to you within 1 working day and help address all issues.

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