With big data and industry 4.0 leading us into the future, global industries on all levels are undergoing rapid change, hurrying to keep pace and exploit the technological, automated, and processing advances shaping tomorrow. Navigating new and exciting territory, the speed at which change is happening is immeasurable. According to Accenture,
So in order to get ahead – and stay ahead, businesses must possess business agility. Typically utilized in high-intensity sectors, to increase business agility, organizations should cultivate innovation, readily adapt to change, and nurture the value of efficient human capital. In this article, we’re going to give you six expert ways to increase your business agility. First, let’s discover what business agility is.
What is Business Agility?
“Business agility” refers to an organization’s persistent ability to grow and evolve continuously, responding and adapting to changes in their respective industry in order to maintain marketplace perpetuity. Or in the words of HR Zone, “agility is about ensuring the human capital in the organization has the skills and abilities to respond quickly to new developments and the infrastructure and processes to mobilize this human capital into action as efficiently as possible.”
Six Ways to Increase Business Agility
1. Introduce New Products and Services
As the seasons change, so do trends. And you may think we only have four seasons annually. When in fact, from a retailer sense, the year is made up of countless micro-seasons. With constantly shifting marketplace preferences, your brand or business may be expected to change at a moment’s notice.
Business agility means being able to respond and adapt quickly to new and innovative demands, so ensuring no logistical barriers are impeding rapid change is crucial. That could mean constructing a team specifically designated to observe and predict product direction and future trends, or it could mean pushing the envelope in the research and development department through the innovation of existing products or the invention of brand new ones.
2. Provide Excellent Customer Satisfaction and Service
Positively impacting business agility means paying a special focus on customer care and satisfaction. All good business leaders understand that overall success hinges on a positive customer experience and how efficiently you can deliver a product or service.
When customer experiences and interactions are enhanced through strong and attentive agile service, customer satisfaction is heightened and in turn, so are sales.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but it should be emphasized that employees within your workforce have the power to make or break your customer relationship. The proverbial parts of the larger sum, an organization’s employees are the bridge connecting the customer with all that a business has to offer. Employees should be trained and versed on the best approach procedure, conveying to the customer knowledge on all available resources quickly and efficiently.
Business agility is about adapting to change and nothing changes quicker than customer preferences. Sustaining a high standard of service and always being hyper-aware about cultural shifting and changing demands will ensure your business continues to generate business agility.
3. Acquire New Talent and Skills
Business agility is about transforming and adapting to marketplace and cultural changes, so acquiring talent and expertise that possess diverse skill-sets and navigate changing trends will help you stay ahead. Increasing business agility means understanding the importance the role digitization plays in getting ahead of the competition.
Hire those with contemporary IT skills and a data-first mentality, harnessing their talents to fuel growth for your business. The acquisition of not only digitally savvy individuals but a well-rounded collection of soft and hard skill talent will act as the foundation for pursuing future growth initiatives. Assembling a collaborative team dedicated to adaptability will help shape and cultivate business ethos across all levels.
4. Embrace Data
Digital transformation is constantly empowering business agility and one benefit of digital transformation’s many innovations is the ability to acquire raw data. Data on everything from performance, sales, inventory, analytics, and logistics can be recorded and repurposed toward new goals and solutions.
Embracing data means not only collecting it but analyzing and repurposing it to create solutions and innovations that improve every level of operation. Adopting a data-driven ethos within your organization will prove beneficial in various ways, one being the gift of insight. Data insight can help improve logistical forecasting and more accurately detect customer and marketplace trends, while better informing an organization’s decision-making capabilities.
Digital transformation continues to reinvent the wheel and forge new ways of navigating the ever-evolving digital economy. With data enabling digital transformation, companies hoping to stay relevant in a shifting post-pandemic market will need to understand and prioritize data and the value it holds. Building and executing a comprehensive data strategy that supports and underpins wider organizational objectives is a sure way to increase business agility and sustain growth.
5. Adapt and Respond to Market Change
New and innovative communication processes have given organizations access to real-time, analytical, and performance data. This gives a business invaluable insight like never before, allowing them to stay on top of market trends and outmaneuver competitors. Increasing business agility means studying that immediate data, addressing what needs to change, and correcting course.
Sometimes it’s shifting cultural habits that demand more from your product or service. Acknowledging changes in marketplace patterns and reinventing a product or service that evolves with the consumer will sustain your B2C relationship. That’s why Netflix went from a measly DVD rental service to the biggest digital streaming platform of today – because they had their finger on the pulse and recognized where future demand would be. Does anyone even remember Blockbusters anyway?
Agile project management tools are excellent at managing disparate software projects and consolidating data that can quickly indicate where changes need to be made. Utilizing management tools like Asana, Wrike or Monday is ideal for collecting statistical data in a compounded environment, which in turn drives business agility. Customer preferences, marketplace fluctuations, or administrative disruptions – possessing business agility means navigating and overcoming these inevitable moments of transformation.
6. Upgrade Communication and Technology
What differentiates an agile enterprise from a fragile one is how strong its communicative capabilities are. Successful business-to-customer interactions are a strong component of enterprise agility and success, so securing strong communication channels that don’t impede those interactions is recommended. Contemporary agile management services are great tools for nurturing customer relationships and modernizing business-to-consumer communications.
Your business is only as strong as its communicative abilities, so enhancing communication efforts will naturally boost business agility. Create a technology checklist ensuring upgrades to disparate and outdated systems are made, build team awareness on the latest communication tools entering the market, and communicate regularly with the IT department to establish mutual objectives. What about technology overall? It’s critical to not only upgrade communication tech but all tech in general.
Before splurging out on advanced programs and IT infrastructure, compose an action plan that determines what tech purchases will benefit a specific area of business and whether your organization has the technological maturity to implement and exploit that tech. Building a tailored and efficient tech stack that fits your organizational needs is wise. Outsource expertise to technical agencies versed in the latest gadgets on the market, or switch out old-school legacy systems for agile SaaS and cloud solutions. Technology is a defining factor in business agility.
Business Agility Statistics
- Research from McKinsey suggests that agile transformation can reduce time to market by over 40%.
- Cost savings as a result of better business agility are estimated to range from 20 to 30%.
- Over 60% of professionals state that their industry is being disrupted or has erratic market conditions.
- An estimated 71% of businesses have low business agility according to a survey by the Business Agility Institute.