The level of uncertainty for most leaders is unprecedented, and most frameworks for planning and problem solving are unable to manage the geographic variability, uncertainty, and the exponential change brought by the COVID-19 crisis.
Become more Agile
To stay competitive in an era of disruption, business leaders must create value through digital transformation—or risk the perils of a shifting landscape. Like any major transformation, a digital transformation requires instilling a culture that supports the change while enabling the company’s overarching strategy.
A digital culture empowers people to deliver results faster. Digital organizations move faster than traditional ones, and their flatter hierarchy helps speed decision making.
Organizational fiefdoms and silos along with varying levels of digital literacy can act as barriers to change. Pouring new technologies into old structures can limit the full potential of digital acceleration. This is because companies start by trying to reinvent their core IT systems and sadly, most of this money is wasted, as these massive centralized efforts take far too long.
When the rules of business are being rewritten on a quarterly basis, companies need an approach to transformation that is agile, focused on results, and manageable.
Collaboration tools improve business agility
One of the things organizations do to make themselves more agile and innovative is to introduce digital workplace tools that will enable change and transformation. Changes in operations since COVID-19 have seen digital transformation budgets increase and mass remote working has sped up transformation activities.
Moreover, despite budget concerns triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak, global spending on digital transformation technologies and services will grow 10.4 percent in 2020 to $1.3 trillion, according to data researcher IDC published in May. Digital strategies have become even more essential tools in commercial and business models to build resilience into their operations.
Creating a detailed understanding of where the critical points are in your business model and understanding how challenges can be mitigated will help you retain corporate performance and value.
- How are you able to prioritize what the company deems critical though?
- How do you look at the complexity of your business now versus where you want your business to be and how do you manage that change?
- How are you generating a single source-of-truth where everyone in the organization can see all the tasks being initiated and how they are connected to the overall goals?
Corporate leaders are burdened with the unavoidable task of embedding technologies into organizational processes across functional areas in order to achieve cross-departmental collaboration.
To pull off a successful transformation, leaders must envision and harness the digital resources and insight that are produced by these technologies and the value that these resources can add to the strategic mix.
Collaboration is key to strategic decision making
Collaboration and connecting people throughout different organizational structures is key. Often collaboration around strategy is conducted at the executive level but how are the themes, initiatives and results brought together and communicated to the entire organization, and not only aggregated at the executive level?
We work with innovative IT leadership teams to meet these challenges head-on. But what makes them innovative, exactly?
They see COVID-19 as a catalyst for organizational change. Their vision is to use SharpCloud across their teams, leveraging effective remote workshops, to collaborate on visual and data driven IT roadmaps that support their portfolio prioritization challenges. In many cases, we’re replacing numerous spreadsheets (and supporting slide decks) that are flying around between groups of people across the business, creating a single source of truth.
SharpCloud is a single tool which can help identify new business opportunities through collaboration and data driven decisions and ensure all activities are supporting the organization's high-level strategy.
Real time strategic planning
A key part of our work is to give IT leadership the tools to reguarly review their strategic roadmap and its interdependencies and create an effective selection process using multiple data inputs and flexible views. Ultimately, this helps them create a clear list of priorities. A digital document (what we call a SharpCloud story) that enables IT teams to take positive action.
Creating a continuous planning process that enables managers to uncover hidden strategic issues and make more decisions, will allow companies to become more agile. By embracing decision-focused planning, companies will almost certainly find that the quantity and quality of their decisions will improve, as will the quality of the dialogue between senior leadership and unit managers.
Longer-term, we see organizations accelerating their business innovations with a forward-planning roadmap. We support this by:
- Developing a digital workplace strategy
- Evaluating digital tools to improve employee learning experiences
- Implementing technologies to automate manual processes
COVID-19 has accelerated digital adoption
So, as the pandemic dust starts to settle, businesses are brushing themselves down, pivoting where they can and accelerating. COVID-19 has accelerated our use of technology and technology can also accelerate us out of this crisis.
However, where digital transformation is truly accelerating is where businesses have been brutally digitally unprepared. Many organizations have a long way to go, but others are already driving a more agile culture by taking radical action, reorganizing themselves and undertaking some kind of restructuring that will support the investment in the digital workplace tools. There is still time to reset, pivot, and think big, but the time to transform is now.