Operational excellence budgets boosted for 2022

Around 95% of global firms with revenues in excess of $1bn are directing more resources to delivering lean, safe and sustainable operations this year, according to research from Verdantix.

Chart showing rise of income and expenditure
The research and advisory firm’s analysis of data from 256 companies representing 14 industries reveals ongoing Covid-19 management is the key driver for operations optimisation in 64% of cases. Preparing for economic recovery and growth are also significant factors in budget growth for 95% of respondents, alongside decarbonisation targets and cost-cutting programmes, which were “very significant” or “significant” for 85% and 84% of the respondents, respectively.

Safeguarding supply chains and operations

Verdantix Research Director and report author Malavika Tohani said: “Budget gains for operational excellence initiatives are robust for 2022. Ninety-eight per cent of respondents noted that their firm’s budget on operational excellence initiatives will increase as compared to 2021, with 50% of interviewees foreseeing double-digit increases. “Covid-19 management remains a significant factor driving strategies as waning efficacy of vaccinations, vaccine hesitancy and new mutations mean firms need to remain vigilant in mitigating infection events to ensure continuity of industrial operations.” Verdantix further identified C-suite led industrial digital transformation and productivity as significant factors for driving operational excellence strategies, cited by 51% and 50% of respondents respectively. 
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Technology and operational excellence

A survey of international business leaders by global network of independent advisory and accounting firms HLB International, placed "access to emerging technology" top of the list for key enablers of successful innovation.Over half of the 586 clients surveyed from 46 countries are focusing their innovation efforts around emerging AI, Cloud and RPA (robotic process automation) technology and launching new products or services. Non-digital technologies are also considered of great strategic interest, with renewable energy cited by 61% and electrification by 46% of business leaders.

IT recruitment reaches new heights

These shifts are creating opportunities for companies to enhance and improve their IT infrastructure, while also leading to a surge in IT vacancies. One in three respondents to the HLB survey noted the capabilities of their people is a barrier to business innovation.More hybrid and homeworking is exacerbating the issue, with key tech talent now able to look beyond their immediate geography for the best roles increasing competition in a sector where skills shortages are common. In England and Wales, according to new analysis from global specialist recruitment consultancy Robert Walters and data analytics firm Vacancysoft, the number of tech jobs reached record levels in 2021.Tech firms published more IT vacancies in the last year than all British businesses combined did in 2020. The research found software development and engineering specialists were the most sought after in England & Wales, with recruitment levels up 88.2% year-on-year. The firm with the most tech vacancies in 2021 is JPMorgan, publishing over 2,600 new jobs for tech professionals, a 107.3% year-on-year increase. At +360% year-on-year, DXC Technology experienced the largest growth in vacancies out of the top 10 recruiters for tech experts. Further down the rankings, recruitment levels at Advanced and CGI rose even more rapidly, by 424.8% and 598.9% year-on-year, respectively. 

UK tech sector buoyant

“More money than ever is flowing into UK tech,” says Tom Chambers, Associate Director at Robert Walters. “The sector raised £29.4 billion in 2021, up from £11.5 billion in 2020. The combined value of UK tech companies founded since 2000 is now £540 billion, after the biggest year-on-year increase since 2013/14.“More money means more job opportunities – and not just in London. Although it’s the capital where most investment activity is focused, nearly £9 billion went to start-ups and scale-ups outside London and the South East.”  James Chaplin, CEO, Vacancysoft, comments, “The data reflects how demand for innovative tech and digital infrastructure from UK consumers and business soared in 2021 as restrictions still kept people largely at home and working remotely. “Tech companies in the UK will expect sales, investment and headcount to grow this year. But it looks unlikely this unprecedented growth in new jobs can be maintained — especially if the industry’s call for the government to provide greater support for R&D, better training and improved access to talent goes unheeded.”

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