Organizational Control of Technology Selection and Innovation Transferred to Employees, Data Finds

Two-Thirds of Organizations Reviewing Technology Strategy Due to Pandemic Challenges

Smartsheet (NYSE:SMAR), the enterprise platform for dynamic work, today announced that the business disruption caused by the pandemic is forcing organizations to rethink their future implementation of tools, tech and practices, according to a survey of global business professionals conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services in association with Smartsheet.

COVID-19 uncovered the benefits of enabling an agile workforce, but also revealed the inefficiencies many organizations were facing due to technology. In fact, over three-quarters (76%) of respondents agreed the pandemic revealed major gaps in their internal technology strategy citing inefficiencies across the technology stack, from flexibility and speed to user friendliness and functionality. Combined with the finding that 93% agreed it’s necessary to provide teams with the software and tools needed to produce successful work, two-thirds (67%) of respondents stated their organizations are now reviewing their technology strategy.

When asked why their organizations are experiencing inefficiencies, only 50% of respondents reported their technology stack met employee needs while others recognized the need for change. For example, 88% said having empowered, autonomous teams is critical to an organization’s future success and 80% said agile and innovative workers played a big role in helping ensure business continuity and success during disruption.

“The pandemic has revealed that many organizations are battling a critical disconnect when it comes to their technology: the platforms they currently use do not fully empower their workforce to drive innovation and have organizational impact,” said Mark Mader, CEO of Smartsheet. “We believe that to effectively compete, businesses must transform to work more dynamically – to simplify, streamline and integrate how work is initiated, managed, and delivered by their people and by their teams.”

As organizations look forward, 86% agree the pandemic has changed the way their leadership is thinking about future-proofing the business. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of respondents agree that going forward, they expect their organization’s leadership to entrust teams with innovating based on their own specific needs. In addition, over half (54%) feel their organization’s innovation will be equally driven by employees and senior leadership opposed to 40% pre-pandemic.

“Organizations without the right technology pre-pandemic not only had to overcome the consequences of technology-based inefficiencies but their workforce also suffered resulting in decreased morale and lower productivity,” said Alex Clemente, Managing Director of Harvard Business Review Analytic Services. “This impact on the workforce is driving a change in how leadership is approaching technology in the long-term, by empowering teams to be the catalyst of innovation and remain productive and competitive.”

You can access the executive summary of the report, “Empowering Employees to Drive Innovation”, here.

*Survey methodology

A total of 642 respondents drawn from the HBR audience of readers (magazine/e-newsletter readers, customers, users) completed the survey.

About Smartsheet

Smartsheet (NYSE: SMAR) is the enterprise platform for dynamic work. By aligning people and technology so organizations can move faster and drive innovation, Smartsheet enables its millions of users to achieve more. Visit to learn more.

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Lindsay Bleier

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