BOCA Clients Look to the ‘Next Normal’ in 2021

With “New Normal” 2020 behind us and “Next Normal” 2021 underway, the BOCA team worked with our clients to uncover their predictions for the year. They range from corporate predictions to technology, mergers and acquisitions to cheap money and, of course, how COVID-19 has changed us forever, especially with new hybrid work models that were embraced as employees fled expensive cities to rural destinations, suburbs and even islands. 

A great thank you to so many of our clients that participated!

Kathleen Shanahan
BOCA’s Founder

Cari Jaquet, VP of Marketing at BigPanda

The Hybrid Work From Anywhere + Office is Here to Stay 

By July 2021, I predict companies will return to a hybrid office/home work model. Many employees fled expensive housing markets and moved to more affordable cities over the last year because they were able to work remotely while retaining their premium salaries. Suddenly, as offices reopen, companies will ask employees to decide whether they want to return to the company locations or take a cut in salary to stay where they are.

Yoav Landman, Co-Founder and CTO at JFrog

Security-first product development will become more mainstream

Software organizations are in a constant battle between delivery speed and delivery quality. The faster they move the greater the chances they end up with a lower-quality product. Most are in a race to do things fast and also instill quality into the product. What many may not consider is that security is one aspect of quality. Organizations using lots of third-party components in applications must pay special care to security if they want to continue to rely on third-party dependencies for re-use and accelerated delivery, and handle these in an automated way throughout the pipeline. We’ll see more companies implement security safeguards very early on in their development process to combat this. 

Manoj Chaudhary, Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Engineering at Jitterbit

More businesses will adopt hyperautomation

To paraphrase Gartner, the idea that anything that can be automated in an organization should be automated, is called hyperautomation. Along these lines, my belief is that if you do anything in technology three times — particularly in the DevOps world — it’s time to automate. Hyperautomation means taking legacy business processes that aren’t streamlined and create expensive and extensive issues for organizations and automating as much as you can through means including robotic process automation (RPA). RPA removes tedious tasks and lets humans focus on more innovative and exciting work. 

Liz Benson, Senior Director of Strategy at Kofax

The next place for RPA to go? The Business Workflow

RPA has caught on like wildfire, because it made automating routine, mundane tasks fast, easy and dare I say, fun. It made motivation-killing work like monotonous, cut-and-paste data entry –a drudgery of the past. Where does RPA go from here?  It’s all about workflow.  The new normal is accelerating the call for digital transformation – creating streamlined, frictionless experiences that delight customers and employees.  To do this, organizations increasingly are bridging their RPA expertise to higher-value initiatives – business workflow transformation.  Workflows are organizations’ ‘secret sauce’ – the end-to-end processes encoding how they do things smarter, faster, better, cheaper. For savvy companies, 2021 is about harnessing their RPA automation expertise – and leveraging it with complementary technologies like process orchestration and document intelligence to  automate their mission-critical business workflows. 

Rob Pickell, CMO at Mavenlink

Better balance between professional and personal in the workplace 

Millennials will make up about 40% of the global labor force in the next decade. Already, this group has had an outsized influence on work culture in many industries. Silicon Valley is the most obvious example of this trend, where past boundaries around work and personal issues and interests have become blurry. This blurring has been embraced by many Millennial workers, resulting in positive engagement at work, while companies that have fostered these open cultures have faced concerns around when this engagement becomes counterproductive to business performance. In 2021, we will see the companies on the front end of this trend focus on finding the right balance and leading the way for other employers. 

Dave Fraser, CEO at Omnilert

AI will play a greater role in emergency comms
The use of artificial intelligence has grown across a number of industries, and in 2021 it will make inroads in the emergency mass notification space. AI has the ability to help manage the barrage of information coming in via phone, text, and social media that bombard first responders during an emergency event. It can segment communities based on their responses or other factors, such as their current location, to deliver messages that are contextual and relevant to people based on their specific situation. For example, if there is a potential threat in a specific area of campus, modern emergency mass notification systems can quickly deliver detailed evacuation instructions to those in buildings that are immediately impacted, while alerting those in other locations around campus to stay away from the endangered area until the situation is clear.

Rebecca Biestman, Chief Marketing Officer at Reputation

Show me, don’t tell me: Lead by example 

More and more companies will take risks with their messaging. The need to stand out in 2021 is probably more important than ever, and it could be a make-or-break year for many businesses. A lot of companies got a bit of a pass during Covid-19, but that won’t happen in 2021. Companies will either regroup and grow, or they’ll continue to stagnate and decline, exposing long-term weaknesses they probably had anyway. If 2020 tested businesses’ resilience to drastic change and variability, 2021 will be the year of, “show me, don’t tell me.” We will start to see more companies become bolder, edgier, and provocative, pushing the boundaries compared to what many companies were forced to play it safe in 2020. For many businesses, in 2021, the stakes are higher than ever.

Bo Gyldenvang, CEO at Tacton

To be modern, one must digitize 

In order to keep up with modern customer demands, manufacturers of complex goods need to get out of the dark ages by quickly digitalizing and moving to a customer-driven, online selling model. Those who don’t will be unable to survive this coming year let alone compete in the future. There is one critical lynchpin technology that will make online sales possible for complex manufactured products: configure-price-quote technology. Without it, no major manufacturer will be able to sell their products across all channels, and competitors will steamroll right over them.

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