Tech Effectiveness and Complexity in the Workforce: Q&A with Pega’s Don Schuerman

Google recently announced their “Simplicity Sprint” initiative, which focuses on improving efficiencies within their workforce during this uncertain economic environment impacted by the ongoing pandemic, supply chain issues, the war in Ukraine, inflation, and the Great Resignation.

However, simplifying and creating a more productive workforce is about more than improving focus, it’s about uncovering and solving for increased complexity, brought on by an explosion of data, digital transformation initiatives, and the new reality of hybrid work. It is important for businesses and leaders to understand where these complexities are and what the key drivers are before redefining a new strategy to reduce business complexity.

With this in mind, Pega’s CTO Don Schuerman discussed why solving the problem around complexity is key to ensuring a position of business strength, including a more productive and efficient workforce.

Schuerman has over 25 years of experience delivering enterprise software solutions for Fortune 500 organizations, with a focus on digital transformation, customer experience, AI, automation, and cloud.

Can you tell me about what Pega is doing now and how it is uncovering and solving for increased complexity, brought on by an explosion of data, digital transformation initiatives, and the new reality of hybrid work?

We have more tools and technologies at our disposal today than ever before, but the solutions that were intended to simplify work have, in many ways, made it more complex. We now have data pouring in from many different channels and systems, and workers are finding it hard to keep up—often having to spend even more time consolidating information from disparate systems, deciding on next steps, manually entering data, re-routing workflows, and more.

Remote and hybrid work have added yet another piece of complexity to the equation. Workers not only have to contend with information overload but also adapt to new communication and collaboration processes at the same time. Even with all the promises of digital transformation, it’s clear many workers are not yet seeing the benefits.

We recently surveyed more than 4,000 employees across the globe and one out of three respondents told us their organization reacts to change too slowly. Pega believes the number one way to develop excellent change management capabilities is through low code. Low code empowers all business stakeholders with the necessary tools to adapt workflows as needed and bring together the right people throughout the development process—regardless of team or department—to allow for faster innovation and better outcomes for employees and customers alike.

Pega is also helping to relieve this mounting complexity by leveraging automation and AI to surface critical information across systems as well as take care of lower-level tasks, thus giving workers more time to focus on more advanced issues that require human intervention and empathic thinking.

What are these complexities and what are the key drivers behind them?

According to our complexity survey, employees at all levels report feeling overloaded with information, systems, and processes, making it difficult for them to adapt to new challenges and meet the growing needs of their customers. Other major drivers of complexity uncovered by the research


  • Navigating internal processes and bureaucracy
  • Keeping pace with rapid change
  • Lack of resources, and managing projects, teams, and people

How has our current climate, COVID, supply chain issues, inflation, climate change, war in Ukraine, etc, exacerbated this issue?

External factors have significantly contributed to the need for business agility. For example, at the onset of international lockdowns, the pandemic demanded rapid changes to the way we get work done and many businesses rushed to adopt new digital solutions. Despite this haste, according to the survey, many employees wished their organizations adapted new digital technologies better and faster. Many felt these new initiatives either didn’t go far enough or were implemented in silos without a unified vision and inadvertently increased job complexity.

The pandemic also accelerated business complexity by complicating work/life balance as well as hiring capabilities. One in three employees reported that hybrid work made it more challenging to set boundaries between their work and personal lives and that their company struggled to attract talent with the necessary tech skills to fill critical open roles.

However, the right technology is still seen as critical in the workplace—98% of those surveyed agree that technology is vital to doing their jobs effectively. So how can we embrace technology while combating complexity? We must start by breaking down technological silos.

You said the key to reducing these complexities starts with breaking down technology silos, can you explain more about that?

The presence of too many disparate systems is the top technology issue driving complexity. When asked what businesses can do to make their technology experience less complex, the top request was to deploy systems that more easily integrate with other technologies. This suggests that, rather than piecing together projects implemented in isolation, businesses need to take a more unified approach to digital transformation. Workers can tackle tasks more efficiently through consolidated systems that triage information in a logical way. Leaders should be thinking about ways to increase access to information across their organizations and simplify the process of attaining it.

Why is solving the problem around complexity key to ensuring a position of business strength, including a more productive and efficient workforce?

When we combat complexity by empowering workers with the tools and training they need to perform their jobs effectively, we make it possible to boost productivity and improve customer and employee satisfaction in the process. The companies with the right architecture, strategy, implementation, and understanding of what digital transformation means and are able to communicate it across their organizations effectively are the ones that will remain competitive amidst an unpredictable business landscape.


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