Top focus areas for business and strategy teams in 2024

In our final post on priorities for the year ahead, we asked our people to share key changes they have seen coming through in technology and wider business – and how they think companies can prepare to respond.

Purpose-led companies increasingly at the fore

Opencast chief executive Tom Lawson says: “Societal expectations have shifted. Our people, our clients and investors expect more from companies in terms of the ethics and morals we demonstrate, and our positive reason for existing as a company.

“Top of my agenda for 2024 is for us to further embed our purpose, mission and vision in everything we do as an organisation, and bring this to life for our people, our clients and wider society.

“The heart of our vision is making a positive impact on society, through the solutions we deliver and the way in which we deliver them – with simplicity, sustainability and fairness at their core.

“In 2024 we want to show that we continue to make this real; through impactful work with our clients in government, healthcare, renewable energy and more; through external B Corp accreditation and using our voice and influence to continue to push for the case for purpose-led businesses."

Tom Lawson headshot in circle frame.

Data unlocks opportunities for companies and customers

Harry Armstrong, corporate development director, says: “The biggest issue in 2024 I feel will be all about data: efficiently managing the huge inbound and outbound flows of data within organisations as well as exploiting the troves of data already held within organisations for the benefit of citizens, patients and customers.

“Businesses should be responding to this challenge with really sound fundamentals – data architecture, data governance and data security. Organisations that can trust their data, and be trusted to hold data about people, are able to realise the potential of the information at hand. The effectiveness of even the best solutions is wholly dependent on the quality and availability of the data that supports it.

“Once the foundations are in place there are so many technology options available (new and shiny, and tried and tested) that will produce fantastic efficiencies for businesses, compelling user experiences, and impactful digital services.”

Harry Armstrong headshot in circle frame.

Data is also something that James Hodgson, chief financial officer, recognises as being critical in 2024. “As part of our effort to boost integration and real-time analytics, Opencast has built a centralised system around Workday and Salesforce, allowing for a seamless integration of business processes and data sources,” he says.

“This integration aims to eliminate data silos and enhances accessibility, enabling users to make informed decisions based on real-time data. Utilising powerful analytics and reporting tools will allow Opencast to generate real-time insights and enable users to execute data-driven decisions more quickly.

“A key focus for 2024 will be to leverage productivity gains from our investment and build out our internal systems and processes.

“To help with collaboration, scalability and impact, we have designed processes around the systems tooling to enable ways of working designed to foster a more collaborative and productive work environment. This will allow us to scale and adapt without disruption, creating a platform of operational excellence to underpin Opencast’s ability to create impact at scale.”

James Hodgson headshot in circle frame.

Help clients meet user needs within budget constraints

Sam Manson, client experience director, says: “Amidst budget constraints and heightened user expectations, effective collaboration with clients and partners involves constant communication and co-creation to grasp their evolving needs and challenges.

“In 2024, my primary focus is leveraging our client experience and engagements to drive efficient business growth and maximise client satisfaction. Through ongoing voice of customer (VOC) research, we will continue to gain insights into their issues, enabling us to design solutions that support them and streamline their work lives. We already know that our approach will look at secure by design, sustainable technology and efficient data utilisation.

“The invaluable feedback from VOC, combined with applying a user experience approach, enables us to capitalise on feedback and insights, aligning with our purpose, mission, vision; go-to-market strategy, and brand pillars. This holistic integration will empower us to grow purposefully in 2024, ensuring that we not only meet but exceed the expectations of our clients and partners in a rapidly changing business landscape.”

Sam Manson headshot in circle frame.

Stay focused on outcomes and maximising value

“There’s no doubt that continued technological innovations in AI, green tech and cyber will present significant opportunities,” says Lizzie Vincent, go-to-market director.

“But our primary focus remains on how we can exploit these technologies to deliver relevant services for our clients that achieve their ultimate outcomes – whether that’s realising operational efficiencies, better serving patient needs, mitigating system risks or enhancing citizen services.

“We focus on ‘innovation for outcomes’, not innovation for innovation’s sake – especially in the current economic climate. When government and private enterprise rightly have a sharp focus on delivering value for money, this is even more pertinent.

“Day to day, that means we need to listen more intently than ever to what our clients need; retain our agile mentality and continue to be flexible when client priorities change or investment becomes tighter – progress in the right direction is better than no progress at all. And, we need to ensure we continue to work truly collaboratively with clients and partners so that everyone plays to their strengths.”


Published: 25 January 2024

Lizzie Vincent headshot in circle frame.

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