Before the pandemic, business agility was considered a desirable feature and potential competitive advantage. Now, it has turned into an essential quality for adaptability, innovation, and the overall stability of an organisation.
Companies with agile practices embedded in their operating models performed better in managing the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. However, 85% of executives state they are not confident that their operating models can meet shifting strategic priorities. For companies to endure the pandemic’s continued restrictions, they must embrace the core capabilities of agility.
Businesses should look to follow these key steps: adopt, evolve, and achieve, to transform current business models and establish true company-wide agility.
Adopt intelligent business models
One of the biggest obstacles’ companies are facing in the pandemic is disruption to global supply chains. Indeed, 75% of businesses reported supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic, the scale of which severely impacted the bottom line.
By adopting intelligent business models and automating these processes, supply chains can go on undisrupted even if sites are deemed inaccessible for workers. Intelligent business models can also roll out products and services at a much faster rate – a highly sought-after characteristic in business. Gartner finds that 44% of executives state their company is looking to adopt an “agile product development methodology” to become more effective and efficient at launching products.
By 2024, Gartner predicts that technology will replace almost 69% of the manager’s workload. This will allow employees to extend their degree of responsibility and influence, without taking on additional administration tasks. Through intelligent business models using automation, organisations can upskill their workforce to focus on more high-level responsibilities, driving staff productivity to achieve and deliver wider business objectives.
Evolve with customers
McKinsey finds that an agile transformation helps organisations to innovate and deliver for their customers, improving satisfaction and experience. Companies who want to embrace agility need to reconsider their sales approach and put customer experience at the centre of the business. In today’s digital world, customers have an array of options at their disposal, so businesses must adapt their offerings ahead of customers’ needs to avoid losing out to competitors.
Companies should also rapidly examine their innovation pipeline to set priorities for new customer experiences that align with remote, digital, or home delivery trends. Indeed, 56% of businesses actively seek to buy from companies who consistently introduce new products and services based on customer needs. Maintaining a strong customer experience requires agile innovation to address customer pain points and changing dynamics. Companies who master this approach will create value for customers and rise above the competition.
On the journey to agility, businesses need to build intelligent architecture to support speed, flexibility and the continual development of operating processes. However, companies often do not have the technical capability in-house to achieve this and it can be challenging to distil true business technology needs.
Instead they should look to a strategic multinational technology partner to help. Not only will they have the bandwidth and capability to scale solutions at pace but be able to deliver localised solutions with global foresight and overview.
For instance, one of Logicalis’ health services customers had been discussing the move to public cloud for several months when the pandemic first emerged. It needed support to get over 1,000 office staff working remotely in a secure and productive way. Our Architects of Change recommended it move to a public cloud and leverage our Production Ready Cloud Platform for its entire back-office operation. Our teams were able to accomplish this in just two weeks – a huge accomplishment implemented ahead of the full lockdown in the area which removed any disruption to services.
Business agility is key to success for the ‘next normal.’ It enables innovation and creativity and allows businesses to adapt and evolve at any stage of the customer journey. The companies who transform to focus on agility now are the ones who will survive the next stage of the pandemic and will thrive in the face of future uncertainty.