Tyler Suiters:

Hey everybody. I'm Tyler Suiters, with the Consumer Technology Association. We are the owners and the producers of CES. The most influential tech event in the world. We are here to help you get CES ready. The new show is January 11th, through the 14th, 2021. And it will be an all digital show. A first for us. We are really re-imagining CES. Of course, we're supporting what makes CES unique. But we also are enabling you, to connect with new and global audiences. At CES 2021, you will hear from the world's leading tech innovators. And you'll be able to do it all from the comfort, and the safety of your own office, or your home. Still, exhibitors will launch the latest products. And you can connect with global brands, the hottest startups. And one another. This is where the tech industry comes together. Now the all digital experience will be more personalized.

Tyler Suiters:

You can find engaging content, captivating imagery, dynamic presentations, all at your fingertips. This is a new experience. A front row seat for you to discover, and see the latest technology. Now, the key categories, the game changing technologies, you know them well by now; Vehicle tech, 5G, applications of AI, smart cities, resilience, digital health, drones. You know you can find them all at CES. And today, the focus on a bit of a twist there, the future of work. Something that will affect virtually every industry, and certainly the tech sector as a whole. So we are talking with Deloitte and Workday. A closer look at the 2020 impact, on the ever-changing technology landscape.

Tyler Suiters:

Now, CTA research earlier in 2020 showed, that about 40% of companies allowed for designated tele work days, because of the pandemic. And more than a quarter, offered stipends to employees for work-from-home gear. So clearly companies are adapting to what the pandemic demands, and forced on them to change. Businesses need to solve for the now. And we're talking about, how tech decision makers are turning the tech trends, into better enterprise stability, responsibility and diversity. Today, in deep dive conversation one, I really hope you stay tuned, for the Chief Technology Officers from Workday and Deloitte. That's all in this edition of CES Tech Talk. All right, joining us today, first of all from Dallas, Texas is Joe Wilson. He is Chief Technology Officer from Workday, North America. Joe, it's good to have you with us today.

Joe Wilson:

Thanks a lot, Tyler. It's great to be here.

Tyler Suiters:

And here in the nation's capital, which is also the home of the Consumer Technology Association, is Scott Buchholz. He is government and public services, Chief Technology Officer. And national Emerging Tech Research Director with Deloitte. Scott, good to have you with us. And good to have a friendly voice here in DC with us.

Scott Buchholz:

Likewise. It's a pleasure to be here today.

Tyler Suiters:

So gentlemen, thank you both for being with us. Fill in the adjective for what 2020 was. Weird, disconcerting, dangerous unpredicted, you name it. But you both specialize in the workplace. The work sector trends, a bit of a futurism as well. How does 2020, shaping up to really form the focus of the business tech landscape, as we move forward? And Scott, why don't we start with you?

Scott Buchholz:

I love the old adage of interesting. I think it was interesting in both really... Okay. How's this? I think it was both interesting in the ancient Chinese curse, may you live in interesting times. And I think it was also interesting in the sense, where we saw an ongoing acceleration of things, that people thought were going to take years. But actually managed to accomplish in weeks.

Tyler Suiters:

Certainly for the better. What are the trends you're seeing, as companies navigate this world of interesting times, or uncertainty?

Scott Buchholz:

We published in December, our annual Tech Trends report. It was our 12th report. And what we try to do, is actually look 18 to 24 months out into the future, at what's going to be happening in enterprise technology. We identified nine trends this year, that we anticipate coming forward. And they fall in three broad categories. The heart of the enterprise, and the changes we're seeing there. Things that are all around data and data security. And then certainly the changes that we're seeing, in terms of interaction patterns. Whether they're the future of the workplace, or the future of interactions with individuals. And so we're really excited to see how all of those play out as we go forward.

Tyler Suiters:

Excellent point. And we'll delve more deeply into that in just a few minutes. But Joe, I want to turn to you right now for a bit of a narrow scope. Just in terms of Workday itself. And how are you evolving during this pandemic? And moving through it and out of it, where's your company going?

Joe Wilson:

Well, let me start first, by sharing my adjective for what just happened this past nine months plus, which is exciting. And I don't mean that to be not sympathetic, or empathetic to a lot of the things that have been happening. But we are living in interesting times. So let me just start first, with maybe a comment from our CIO at Workday. Her name is Sheri Rhodes. She's amazing, super smart, lots of fun to work with. And she shared that for leaders in every enterprise. "Successfully navigating in this new era, depends heavily on three things. Those being culture, communication, and C-suite collaboration." So let me start first with culture. And I know, I get it, it's a technology audience. Sometimes we feel like this is a squishy topic. It's hard to describe. It's maybe super hard to quantify. But you know good culture when you see it.

Joe Wilson:

And I would offer up that more often than not, those examples of greatness, they do start at the top of the organization. That's where the precedents are set. And so we've placed significant focus on this area at Workday. Especially in our new distributed work model of work. And we routinely test for indicators, via the pulse survey capability delivered within our Workday application. Where most of our employees, which we call workmates, they complete simple surveys via the native Workday mobile app, on a recurring basis. And that allows us to be tapped in. That second area though, communication, it's equally important. Especially in terms of, maybe how we sustain positive momentum for those hard, and soft goals across the organization. It's collaboration tools like Slack or Zoom, or even Microsoft Teams, that have helped create bridges across that physical divide. But I would offer up, that effective communication goes far beyond tools.

Joe Wilson:

It's back to the pivotal nexus of people, process and technology. And being deliberate in our efforts, has allowed us to maintain that momentum that we seek as a high growth company. And the same outcomes, I absolutely believe, can be had by those who are committed to being equally deliberate in their own efforts. And then finally, collaboration. Whether it's in the C-suite or beyond, this is the connective tissue for success. Clearly there's not a single function in any business today, that can survive on its own. We actually do need each other. But we also need to seek for a standard view. Or maybe even a lens on data wherever possible. And that way as we collaborate, we can leverage that common site picture, to manage through the volatility of the day. And I just don't believe organizations can survive into the future, no matter how high their commitment to sincere collaboration is, if they don't view data equally. That's where we are. I'm going to leverage Sheri, our CIO, to talk really about culture, communication, and C-suite collaboration.

Tyler Suiters:

So seizing on that term, Joe, opportunity. And what's presented right now. Scott, bouncing back to you, how about the role tech has every day right now? In keeping us productive, educated, connected, entertained, but really more so, moving forward. These are trends. These are adaptations, that I don't think we're going back on anytime soon, right?

Scott Buchholz:

I think that's right, Tyler. We've seen people over the past year, almost at this point, have to get used to doing things in a digital fashion. People have been forced to get comfortable, interacting through computers in ways we never have before. And whether that's our global culture, or our local culture, or organizational culture. It's clear that a lot of that is actually for the better. There's certainly efficiency that can be gained, in terms of interacting digitally. There are things that can be dramatically improved in those digital interactions. And I think most of us would also say, there's something that's been lost in the lack of human interaction. And what we're seeing, and what we anticipate seeing even more of as we move forward, is people trying to thoughtfully put humans back into those interactions. So if it's the future of retail. How does retail change, in a way that takes better advantage of our collective comfort with digital interactions? But also, the fact that most of us love talking to fellow human beings.

Scott Buchholz:

Now, what does that mean for the workplace? As Joe was talking about, we're collectively trying to figure out, how are we going to navigate this new normal in the workplace? And some of that, is if you think about it, we're looking at rebooting the digital workplace. But it's really interesting. It's likely that physical workplaces over time, are going to be reconfigured more as collaboration spaces. And then, we're going to be expecting our digital tools, to make sure that the people who are working remotely on a team, can be equal citizens with those who are in the room. And finding the balance, and improving the tools. And making all of those things far more seamless than they are today. I think that's the real opportunity that we've got. Whether it's with customers, clients, constituents, employees, stakeholders, or others. That's what I'm really excited about.

Tyler Suiters:

In the general term, Joe, future of work. And that can mean different things to different stakeholders. What's your view at Workday? And also, what is your view for Workday, in terms of the future of work?

Joe Wilson:

Well, without going too deep into the role of a futurist, or maybe even claiming privilege-

Tyler Suiters:

You are welcome to go as deep as you choose, Joe. I promise.

Joe Wilson:

... If only we knew the Powerball numbers. But I think the future of work beyond this larger theme of collaboration, that as Scott already talked about, is probably going to be more likely than not, based on skill collections. Those collections that support opportunities, beyond the standard job catalog of today. And what I mean by that, is you're not just going to be hired for one role that does one or two things. You think of the Swiss army knife model. Well, that's probably the future of work. And to be able to accommodate that, especially from a skills analysis perspective, really, organizations have to think about their systems of record. Those systems, modern or not, that we'll collect and house people or worker data, to accommodate that level of introspection. And much of this effort, is also linked to talent attraction, or talent development. Or even talent retention.

Joe Wilson:

It's interesting, another reality of what we've gone through, is this notion of access to talent. It took a literal pandemic, to effect cultural change across organizations. That by and large, they were fairly reticent to accept any enduring work from home model. And now based on the necessity of the day, that dam, or that impediment to change is broken. And the waters, or in other words, the employees have spilled from corporate offices across the globe, to home offices. So what does that mean for the organization, when it comes to talent attraction, development, or retention? Or perhaps even broader, what does that mean for communities, or States, or even nations? I think these questions have yet to be fully answered. But I absolutely believe, that we won't be returning to where we came from pre COVID.

Tyler Suiters:

So Joe, that's interesting. That's the front half of the equation. Which is what do you do when you're forced to adapt? What about going forward? And when you have the choice to adapt. Or the choice to adapt quickly or slowly. What's the biggest factor for tech businesses, in order to adapt and succeed well? When it's a choice, it's not a mandate.

Joe Wilson:

Oh, that's a great question. So I would offer up, that in a distributed model of work, we have to think about ways to reduce friction wherever possible. And by friction, I mean those very uncomfortable moments where we interact with technology, and the experiences less than ideal. So instead of relying on those browser-based interactions, where we slap people a desk, and expect them to be tied to these workstations. What's the plan for mobile? And does the organization have a strategy for the natural workspace, like Slack or Teams? I guess the point, is how can we make work simpler? But also reducing the need for people to operate across, or within the seams of technology. Some of which are less than experiential. So without sounding too pithy, then perhaps being an actual customer, or user of the product or service you build might help. In turn, you'll gain both sympathy and empathy, for maybe the larger market you serve. And hopefully, that awareness will generate positive returns, as the product or service you create, actually becomes better, faster, or stronger over time.

Tyler Suiters:

Interesting point. And I want to go right over to you now, Scott, to carry that on. And there's a point that you alluded to earlier, about the digital world meeting the physical world. And I think Joe talked about that as well. Where do you see the demand going for integrated experiences? And how that evolves for all of us.

Scott Buchholz:

Well, I think as Joe was alluding to, that demand is just going to explode. I think, if you think about it, if you look at what's going on, if you squint your eyes a little bit. What you realize is at the end of the day, we all want to be treated in a humane fashion like human beings. Not like cogs in some giant machine. And we'd all love for the world to be customized around us, as opposed to customized for everybody. And if you think about the power of some of this technology. You've got computers in your pocket in cell phones. You've got all manner of devices now, increasingly in the environment, that are able to do things on your behalf. And do things to help you. I think, that many of us are going to come to increasingly expect, that customization will become the default. That tailoring to us, we have one of our trends we call bespoke for billions.

Scott Buchholz:

If you think about it, it's the idea of having your tailored suit, and that tailored experience made for you, to an audience of one. I think that increasingly we're going to see, that the choices that I want to make, whether it's in the workplace, or in a store, or elsewhere, are actually going to be tailored more to me, than they might be to my wife. And she'll get potentially a different experience. A different ratio of digital and physical interactions, based on her personality. I think that all of this, is increasingly possible with technology, and data, and other things. And really the fascinating thing, is who's going to put it together the fastest? How is this actually going to look? And I anticipate, that there's going to be a spectrum of experiments that are occurring.

Scott Buchholz:

Joe talked about the idea, that now we can go recruit from a workforce, that's far more global than ever before. And there are a number of organizations, that are going to rush to see how broadly they can expand. And how well they can manage that workforce. So those tensions. There are other groups, that are likely to stay more geographically bounded. And so we're going to wind up seeing thousands of different experiments. And it's going to be really interesting to see, how people figure out which ones are working best for them. And which ones they need to tweak as we go forward.

Tyler Suiters:

One of the phrases, or I would say mantras we live by here at CES Tech Talk, is the idea that every company today, is or needs to be a technology company. And that has various interpretations. But the point being, technology is a must for any business to succeed in the 21st century. So what does that mean to both of you? And Scott, I'll start with you, with how a company should be or become, "A tech company," when it comes to the evolution of work, and successfully doing so.

Scott Buchholz:

I think there are probably couple of main factors. One of them is actually one Joe alluded to. Which is your C-suite on some level, has to be able to communicate. And in order for them to be able to communicate, and understand the implications of technology, they have to be what we would call tech savvy. If you are business-

Tyler Suiters:

Did you just use air quotes?

Scott Buchholz:

... Yeah. I might have. But the idea, is if business executives don't understand the implications of the technology of today, and at a deeper level, perhaps than what you can read in an airplane magazine, for example, then it's not clear that they're ready to be good consumers of technology, in the art of the possible. And so it's incumbent upon all of us as technologists, to meet them halfway. And help them understand things. So that they can recognize the art of the possible.

Scott Buchholz:

I think that on the other hand, technologists have an increasing need to be able to understand the organizational strategy, and where things are going. So that they can better engineer technology, to actually be in service of the goals of the organization. As opposed to sometimes what we have today. Which is there's more tension between the way the technology is built, and the direction the organization is trying to go. So I think, that we'll see more of that in more interesting ways going forward.

Tyler Suiters:

I love the art of the possible. Joe, to you. Every company is or needs to be a tech company today. What's your application, and what's your analysis?

Joe Wilson:

Well, there's a lot of opportunities around that. Specifically, as organizations think about, how they're going to make that journey or that leap. From maybe a boundary of where they don't view themselves as technology focused or enabled, to one in which it's deeply embedded into their larger strategy. So I would probably feel a little bit reticent as a technologist, specifically in the software engineering space, not to talk about the term Agile. And I don't mean that as a hallmark to only software engineering efforts, in terms of how we iterate or develop. I really think about it, in terms of perhaps that being the best way to respond to any disruption, digital or otherwise. And part of that can be leveraged, in terms of helping companies make that leap. Driving a company culture to be more Agile. And as a result, becoming a little bit more risk tolerant. Not seeking for risk, but also mitigating it on the way, while accepting that some of it is probably going to be necessary.

Joe Wilson:

And then finally, being a little bit more willing to experiment. So when I think about that, and in terms of application, Agile teams, they don't have to develop a grand plan for digital transformation. That's not their calling or their effort. But instead, they have to think about taking that one small action. Just one. Just a small action at a time, assessing its effect. Did it work? Could it have been better? And then iterating through that loop, again, and again, and again. To again, drive this transformation organizationally. So that people, can in fact realize the benefits of being technology first.

Tyler Suiters:

So through the words you used, evolution and agility, we are coming up on CES 2021. The first ever all digital CES, which is an evolution. And an Agile change from what CES usually is in person in Las Vegas. For both of you and Joe, let's start with you. What are you looking forward to most, in an all digital show, and the opportunities that presents?

Joe Wilson:

Well, for me, I love the opportunity that this digital world has presented, in terms of flattening the opportunity. For folks to have access to all the things that are happening. So when I think about digital CES, I think about this almost shift towards the more egalitarian role of, "Hey. Guess what, if you want to be there, don't worry about geographic constraint. Don't worry about massive financial outlay. You have an opportunity to participate, literally at the seat of everybody else that's sharing the experience across the globe." When I think about what's maybe more appetizing, or most appetizing about the digital show, I think it's about being able to look across, maybe my own boundaries, or my own silos. To say, "What exactly is happening? What can I learn from it?" And then, "How can I apply that to my own organization, wherever it makes sense? To ensure that we remain on some level future-proof."

Tyler Suiters:

Scott, for you.

Scott Buchholz:

Wow. I have to follow that? So I agree with everything Joe said. I think that, it's really great that, one, CES is going to be able to proceed, even in this world of disruption. That the idea of being digital, has made many conferences far more accessible than ever before. I love the fact, that sessions get recorded, so that you can watch them afterwards. On a more selfish level, I'm actually excited to see some of the exhibits on where quantum technology is going. Because that's another one of the hats that I wear within Deloitte. But I'm also excited, because we at Deloitte are presenting a number of sessions as well. On things that we believe, are of collective interest to a lot of people. The things that we're investing in. The areas of growth. What technology means to executives and boards. I think these are all really important discussions, as I alluded to earlier. Not just today, but increasingly going forward. And so the democratized opportunity, for everybody to get a little bit more tech savvy, I think is really great. And so I'm really looking forward it.

Tyler Suiters:

All right. A fascinating conversation, that could go on for much longer. And maybe we will continue this off the air. But for now, Joe Wilson, Chief Technology Officer with Workday, North America. And Scott Buckholtz, the government and public services, Chief Technology Officer, and national Emerging Tech Research Director with Deloitte. What a blast. Scott, Joe, thank you both. And hope you have a great CES 2021.

Joe Wilson:

Well, thank you, Tyler. It was a pleasure, being able to have this opportunity to meet with you and Scott. Thanks so much for sharing your opinions as well. They were extremely valuable and insightful.

Scott Buchholz:

Likewise. Joe, Tyler, it was a pleasure getting this opportunity to talk with both of you today. And I look forward to seeing both of you at CES.

Tyler Suiters:

All right. That is a wrap for this edition of CES Tech Talk. As you know, CES transcends the traditional tech industry. Companies are using CES, as a platform to show how they're embracing technology. But also evolving their businesses. Companies large and small, have a valuable platform at CES. And CES 2021, will be a critical event for companies to launch, and showcase new products and innovations. Companies can make major announcements during media day. Demo products via live events, video content, and digital activations. And you can engage directly with your target audiences, through live chat, and through meetings.

Tyler Suiters:

And we want you to be CES ready for all of it. So do yourself a favor, subscribe to the CES Tech Talk podcast. And that way you won't miss any episodes, as we head for the big show. Speaking of, CES 2021, is January 11th, through the 14th. We are making regular announcements, seemingly day, after day, after day. All at ces.tech. So check in there for the latest news. That is ces.tech. As always, none of this is possible without the true stars of our podcast. Our Executive Producer, Jennifer [Drogas 00:25:44]. Our Assistant Producer, [Krista Nemeroff 00:00:25:45]. And our Senior Studio Engineer, John Lindsey. You all are the best. I'm Tyler Suiters. Let's talk tech again soon.
 

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