JDC Group Blog

Read the latest insights, events, and industry updates from JDC Group thought leaders and practitioners.

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Executives from the Consulting Solutions family of companies (Consulting Solutions, JDC Group, and Meridian Technologies) recently came together to discuss what they see as some of the key trends, business challenges, and opportunities for the year ahead. As part of the discussion, we posed questions to each executive based on their responsibilities and areas of expertise. Their responses appear below:

Michael Werblun, CEO, Consulting Solutions

(Area of Expertise: Organizational Development, Strategy, and Vision)

Are there any market trends or disruptors anticipated to change your industry in 2022?

Werblun: One major, ongoing disruptor is the fight for talent. In our industry sector that deals with highly skilled technology professionals, unemployment has always been low, and the war for talent has always been there.

Prior to COVID-19, most talent negotiation centered around compensation. Organizations understood that tech professionals command higher pay than many other occupations. But with the pandemic and necessary move to a distributed workforce, the playing field shifted. Workers have gotten used to the benefits of remote working, which is a huge disruption to how organizations have traditionally done business. These types of workers have shown that they can be just as productive outside of the office, and many aren’t interested in going back to the way things were. So, oftentimes they’re rejecting in-office positions, even ones that pay quite well, in favor of ones that offer work flexibility.

Conversely, most organizations saw remote working as temporary. Large organizations in particular are slow to accept this disruption in their workforce and are reluctant to change their processes to accommodate it. They have large office buildings and campuses and they’re used to having them filled with people. It requires a major cultural shift to accept that the way we work has changed, possibly forever. Organizations that can acclimate to this new mode of working will find they can better attract top talent and can also cast a wider net since they’re no longer restricted by geography.

John Moschella, President, Consulting Solutions

(Area of Expertise: Organizational Development, Strategy, and Vision)

What challenges or opportunities are likely to impact client companies in 2022?

Moschella: One of the top challenges facing our clients, at least for the near term, is the persistent pressure on the supply chain, which is something impacting every industry and market sector. Due to COVID-19, there is pressure all along the system—on production, availability of warehouse space, shipping, and delivery—as demand is high and workers are in short supply.

Another challenge across the board is cybersecurity. Threats such as malware and ransomware are occurring more frequently, and the reality is that while you only hear about the big attacks, the problem is far more wide ranging. Organizations are not only having to deal with the repercussions of cyberattacks but are having to find ways to protect their networks and data from future threats, something that’s quite a feat due to criminals’ constantly evolving and increasingly sophisticated methods. In turn, there is a huge opportunity for cybersecurity solutions providers like Consulting Solutions and its family of companies that can help organizations defend their networks and keep ahead of the problem.

  Amit Patel, Senior VP, Consulting Solutions

(Area of Expertise: Data Analytics)

What business improvements could be seized in 2022 using the power of data analytics?

Patel: Organizations will be able to realize a shorter time to value when they leverage smarter, scalable AI with better capabilities to learn algorithms and interpret systems/data. Predictive and prescriptive analytics will allow our clients to forecast potential future trends that could impact their business. Self-service analytics, including no-code/low-code analytics applications, assist greatly with fact-based daily decision-making, allowing individuals to make informed decisions quickly and effortlessly while also reducing IT workload. Lastly, automation of customer-facing systems, leveraging NLP and AI, will greatly improve the overall experience and engagement. 

Greg Beyer, President, JDC Group

(Area of Expertise: SAP)

What SAP trends or new offerings are set to reshape the industry in 2022?

Beyer: Following are four priorities for SAP organizations in 2022:

Cloud. Everything cloud. SAP has invested heavily in cloud and its cloud solutions and will continue to move away from on-premise solutions.

Sustainability. SAP will also continue to invest heavily in Sustainability. Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) is now a corporate focus and the most immediate impact area is within our supply chains.

Industry4.Now. Industry4.Now is SAP’s smart manufacturing solution that connects production with end-to-end process execution across supply chains.

Business Technology Platform. Industry cloud solutions via the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) provide a creative way for partners to offer customized solutions. BTP brings together intelligent enterprise applications with database and data management, analytics, integration, and extension capabilities for both cloud and hybrid environments, including hundreds of pre-built integrations for SAP and third-party applications.

 Joe Thiel, President, Meridian Technologies

(Area of Expertise: Organizational Development, Strategy, and Vision)

What are the top challenges and/or opportunities facing client companies in the new year and, correspondingly, what insights or advice can you offer?

Thiel: Some of the top challenges client companies face this year will be keeping up with changing rapid trends due to outside policy and navigating the issues related to the pandemic. Both government policy on COVID mandates and the pandemic in general have caused many companies to have to make rapid changes to their organization, such as work-from-home scenarios and dealing with mandates for certain company employees to be vaccinated, not to mention working through their old paradigms on pay, the gig economy, and how technology strategies are changing at the same time.

I would suggest engaging with employees in your organization, at a multitude of levels, to get real feedback on what is happening in their lives that could be a risk to the organization. With growth demands, cost cutting, and with efficiency expectations always increasing, employee mental health is a serious issue. Employees need to have a connection to the leadership and the company to be engaged and to better communicate the growing issues that could potentially deteriorate an organization’s cultural fabric. As part of this, also take a look at the policies governing your employees, including their pay. Many times, an employee can leave and come back within two years and demand a salary higher than when they left because of the value they create. To sum it up, it is about engagement, having a connection to the leader and organization, and having an understanding of the policies your organization may have that are going against the grain of trends in the marketplace.

Rick Stengard, EVP, Meridian Technologies

(Area of Expertise: Federal Services)

Q: What should federal agencies be most concerned about in 2022 from an IT perspective?

Stengard: The federal government faces many of the same pressures as the commercial world, only with the challenges compounded by its rigorous procurement processes. Historically, government contracting is a slow process and not readily adaptable to change. Fortunately, though, 2020 and 2021 showed that the government can adapt quickly when needed.

Upcoming issues will include access to talent and inflation of costs. Like all of Consulting Solutions’ clients, the federal government is in a war for talent. In an extremely tight labor market, consultants often call the shots regarding price and flexibility. However, for the government, contracts are often signed years in advance and include basic cost escalations that do not cover the rapid, sharp increases in cost we’re currently seeing in the market. One of the services Meridian’s team provides is a consultative view of the market which is aligned to a government contract or procurement schedule. Using this approach, we’re able to help our system integrator partners and government staff make reasonable tradeoffs in skills, certifications, geographies, and rates to ensure our government customers receive the best value for their dollar.