Cos to focus on greater efficiency without spending more on headcount: Slack CTO


Corporate cubicles are awash with pink slips as a global economic slowdown is prodding companies to get prudent with budgets and keep a check on costs. Tech firms, in particular, which have been hiring aggressively and ramping up growth plans, helped by the pandemic-led digital boom have cut jobs and laid off scores of employees as they put brakes on new experimentations and prepare for an adverse shift in the macro-environment. As firms globally navigate the crisis, the focus will be on efficiency and making judicious use of available resources.

“I think what increasingly more organisations worry about is I can no longer solve problems just by hiring a lot more’s how can I take the people that I have, the resources that I have and get more done with the same amount. And sometimes, it is going to be more done with less..the majority is going to be how can I get more efficient without spending more on headcount. A lot of that focus is going to be on employee efficiency, task efficiency, getting more out of the tools and techniques and processes that they use,” says Cal Henderson, co-founder & CTO at Slack, the Salesforce owned messaging app for businesses.

When the going gets tough, equipping organisations to become more efficient is often the go-to corporate strategy as it entails lower costs. “…it is much cheaper to get 10% more efficiencies in an organisation than to hire 10% more people, especially in an environment like this. So, it is going to be a lot of focus on efficiency, on understanding ROI (return on investment) behind particular processes or businesses that we do,” says Henderson who believes that Slack can help organisations to optimise their processes and gain work efficiency. The CTO says that in India which is integral to Slack’s APAC strategy, startups have been early adopters of the platform.

“India continues to be an important region for us for a customer point of view…so we have been building our force on the ground. We definitely see our early adopters as startups, especially on the tech surprise there that then within a few years, it starts to be the unicorns. Adoption of Slack is always slow in traditional companies but we do see a healthy growth there,” says Henderson. 

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