gaining organizational agility

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GAINING DIGITAL AGILITY

Howard TierskyCEO

Most large enterprises lack the organizational agility to support digital transformation.

But why do we need so much agility for digital transformation in the first place?

Organizational agility is requiredbecause of the speed of digital.

Technology, customer expectations and competitors are changingall very rapidly.

Startups and tech companies are going after your customers.

You have to be able to come up with ideas, test them quickly, make decisions about what youre going to pursue and how youre going to change and evolve.

Remember Keanu Reeves dodging bullets in The Matrix?Hes able to move quickly, sensing which bullets are coming from which directions.

This is the kind of agility we need in the digital arena.

There are five types of organizational agility that are important for success.

The first type of agility is sensing.

First, you need to be aware of whats going on around you, so you can decide what actions are required.

You can think of sensing in terms of these four major categories: CUSTOMERSTECHNOLOGYCOMPETITORSREGULATORY

How can you use sensing on your customers?

Study customers of web, mobile, and in-store, to measure and asses their behavior. Once youve collected the data, you can analyze and decide how to take action.

How can you use sensing to make your technology more agile?

Pay attention to the changing technology landscape, so you can act quickly when technology has reached the level of maturity needed for your project.

How can sensing be used to study your competitors?

What are your competitors doing, and how are they changing to adapt to new customer needs?

How can sensing agility affect regulations?

What opportunities are created as regulations change over time?

Most importantly, create a culture where information is being communicated and disseminated on an on ongoing basis, to develop products and services, and improve the digital experience of the customer.

The second type of agility is technology.

After sensing, we want to respond to the changes happening around us.

The primary tool for responding in the digital world is technology.

Many large enterprises struggle with technology that was created in an era before we needed this level of agility.

There are three pieces of technology that support the link between your Business and IT departments:REQUIREMENTSSAASABSTRACTIONS

Think about requirements not just in the context of what you need today, but also whats required for technical agility in the future.

SaaS, or Software as a Service, allows for more digital flexibility by creating an integration layer around core systems and data.

You also want to think of technology in terms of abstraction.

Put the ability to tweak and adjust the digital experience in the hands of the product development team, product owners, content creators, and marketers, without going through the IT department.

The third type of agility is decision making.

Raise your hand if youve had this experience:

You try to move digital efforts forward, only to be faced with a multi-month or multi-quarter capital budget approval process of endless spreadsheets, forecasts and meetings.

It certainly makes sense that if a company is going to spend millions of dollars, they want to spend their money carefully.

But in the digital world, you're better off being fastthan being right!

Give the people leading these digital transformation projects get the autonomy and authority they need to be able to be successful.

The fourth type of agility is strategy shifts.

Companies that are successful in digital create a process that embraces and expects projects to go through a trial-and-error process.

We need to give digital teams the level of flexibility to make the most of the right moments, and reward them for making shifts.

The fifth type of agility is teaming.

First, disavow yourself of the idea that there's one mythical structure where all the digital work can be done by a single team under one executive.

Digital efforts cut across every part of the organization. Youre going to have silos.

The key isn't to try to figure out how to get rid of silos, its to figure out how they can best work together.

To be effective, teaming needs to happen rapidly across the different silos, where there's mobilization and alignment of the necessary resources.

To recap, the five areas of agility are essential in this digital age are: sensing, technology, decision making, strategy shifts and teaming.

Weve given you a few tips on how you might overcome challenges associated with them. Now its up to you!

FROM helps clients win the digital customer by developing and optimizing properties, creating new digital products and transforming teams, unifying the digital experience online, in stores and everywhere you need to touch the next generation of digital consumers.

More at FROM.DIGITAL

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