This and other axioms below can build business resilience and guide continual digital transformation.
In light of numerous emerging opportunities for organizational digital transformation, and with digitalization ambitions at an all-time high, there has never been a better time for companies to reinvent themselves. With that said, there are a few key philosophies businesses must adopt along that journey.
For instance, successful leaders are now working with the mindset that streamlining the way the business operates is a critical way forward. Besides this, focusing on value creation will be the crux of what makes a good business great in the experience-driven economy.
My take on what is needed to succeed in the current—and future—climate? We need businesses that will boldly embrace not only the ‘new normal’, but also every future ‘new normal’ that will come with unexpected change and upheaval.
Business decision-makers must adopt the mentality that it is essential to learn, okay to fail, and critical to keep adapting in today’s world. Here is how.
- Do not just cut costs: enhance efficiency
Cost remains one of the biggest considerations for many organizations. Successful businesses recognize that cost management is a means to an end. This means that prioritizing how to streamline processes and cut down on waste are often more effective than direct cost-cutting measures.
According to our research in APAC, leading cost management initiatives are currently indirect measures: focusing on investing in services to prevent IT downtime, streamlining their tech and exploring flexible financing solutions. In contrast, consolidating headcount, reviewing hiring policies and relooking at existing vendors are among the least popular cost management initiatives in the current climate.
These findings are an indicator that long-term value creation trumps short-term cost savings. By making the right investments and optimizing spend, companies will naturally generate cost savings in the long term.
Start by taking a hard look at your technology infrastructure—identify the gaps and explore ways to plug them. Legacy infrastructure can bog the organization down, and the shift to pay-as-you-use and X-as-a-service models means you have more flexibility than ever when it comes to updating and scaling up your tech.
- Invest in the right tech
When looking to increase IT spend, the next question that we often hear from organizations is: “where to begin”?
Technology can support businesses in one of two ways: improve organizational efficiency vis-à-vis the prevailing business environment; or future-proof the organization and allow it to scale into the future of work. That said, a robust technology strategy incorporates the best of both worlds.
For instance, investing in services like better networks and unified communications and collaboration technologies can improve IT uptime and engage remote workers more productively while keeping them connected to the business and one another.
Conversely, getting rid of the ‘rusty cogs’ and performing a tech refresh with multi-cloud and dedicated data centers will improve flexibility and allow for scalability as the organization grows.
Expanding digital footprints and the move to remote-working also call for more robust enterprise security solutions because enterprise security risks are present not only in terms of external attacks, but also internal vulnerabilities. Having the appropriate cybersecurity policies and infrastructure in place will guard the organization against visible and also unseen cyber threats now and in the future.
- Remain focused on customer value
While we face many unknowns at present, remember that we are all in the same boat. Just as your organization seeks to pivot and adapt, so do your partners/customers.
With this in mind, exploring new opportunities to deliver tailored value to customers and incorporating customer experience as part of the best strategy can translate to bottom line benefits such as revenue growth.
Take, for instance, one of our food and beverage client’s move to overhaul its corporate website. Not only did this allow the firm to manage content with greater agility and strengthen branding, it also translated into streamlined customer response workflows that enhanced its overall customer experience. As a result of the revamp, the firm saw a general increase in the number of incoming customer enquiries. In fact, our data shows that customer-driven approaches remain a leading priority for modern businesses.
Finally, in order maximize the benefits of positive customer experience (e.g., customer retention and achieving brand advocacy), working with the experts is key. More than nine in 10 organizations surveyed in our studies were either already using external expertise to enable service delivery and drive customer retention, or had plans to do so.
In summary, face your customers with fresh perspectives on what it means to deliver exceptional value and consider the best partners to walk alongside you on your customer experience journey. An evolving digital economy and shifting business landscape present clear opportunities for the brave to become early adopters and stand out in this regard.
The X factor of resilience
No matter your perspective on what it will take to succeed in the current climate, there is no denying that we are experiencing an unprecedented technology revolution. Learning and adapting are integral to surviving in this environment: the successful business is one that combines resilience and a growth mindset to stay ahead of evolving challenges and demands.
In the grand scheme of things, the question for many businesses should not be one of when the future will arrive, but how they prepare for it. As we endeavor to do so, we must be prepared—as we did these past months—to start over again if the need arises.
At the end of the day, the X-factor will be how organizations harness the power of technology. Whether it is through enterprise security, modern workplace solutions, or unlocking the future of work via 5G and cloud, technology will be the key to keeping people and businesses connected: no matter the state of the world we live in.