It is time for change

Today, the degree of adaptability is the most critical competitive parameter for companies. And this is not limited to large corporations. Technology has completely transformed our society over the last decade. How we communicate and how we consume. And the change is continuous. As a result, as a company, you must be able to adapt to change, whatever it is. But how can a company ensure that it is change-ready?

Time For Change2

Today, the degree of adaptability is the most critical competitive parameter for companies. And this is not limited to large corporations. Technology has completely transformed our society over the last decade. How we communicate and how we consume. And the change is continuous. As a result, as a company, you must be able to adapt to change, whatever it is. But how can a company ensure that it is change-ready?

As early as the 1960s, the scientist Roy Amara expressed great respect for technological development:

 "We tend to overestimate the impact of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run." - Roy Charles Amara, American scientist

It is a consideration that is as relevant today as it was then. Living in the wake of the massive "adoption of the internet" in the mid 90'ies, making that internet truly mobile via smartphone in the 00'es and now today, literally more than half of all online transactions are completed on that very same device. Technology has changed consumer behaviour and buying patterns repeatedly and at an ever-increasing speed, with no chance for anyone to predict exactly how. In other words, technology has completely redefined our society on most parameters, and if you as a company want to stay relevant, you have one option: Keep up.

When things move so fast, making a 5-year business strategy is difficult. Companies can not predict how technology will affect consumption patterns, and the competitive market will change accordingly. In the last 5-6 years, we have seen how Digital Business Transformation (DBT) has evolved from a concept to a product that large consulting companies have embraced. The topic is intriguing because if the current paradigm is that we cannot even anticipate the near future, we must equip our businesses to respond to any given reality instead of trying to predict a specific one.

Why is it important to be prepared for change, and how is it a competitive advantage?

Innosight predicts that half of the S&P 500 companies in the US will be replaced by other companies within the next decade. So, if you put it bluntly, at worst, it's about survival, and at best, it's about the company's success.

A change-ready company can restructure practically all its processes in months, including purchasing, production, logistics, sales, distribution, marketing, legal, and finance. Companies already change-ready at their core must focus on maximum flexibility from the systems and technologies they implement to serve the business needs. 

Consumer product companies should also focus and optimise their product development efforts to make the best use of available technologies and tools. Cases such as Kodak and Blockbuster are classic examples of being too slow to develop their products alongside new technology and customer behaviour.

Others will face significant competition from new forward-thinking, entrepreneurial companies, increasing competitiveness and the product quality required to stay the chosen option. For instance, Forrester recently recognised the agencies' tech stack as the deciding element when CMOs must extensively select agency partners in the future. The underlying denominator in all this is the company's development and use of technology to gain a decisive competitive edge.

How does digitalisation relate to readiness for change?

Today we depend on technology and IT systems, whether in accounting, production, customer management, distribution, or marketing. Thus, digitalisation and readiness for change are completely inextricably linked. The more manual and silo-separated processes and workflows you have, the harder it is to change the company structure as needed.

Of course, this does not mean you are ready to change if you have transferred your bookkeeping from an Excel sheet to an app. Of course, it is not that simple. But the process has begun.

What challenges do you see for companies that desire to streamline and automate?

The biggest challenge is, without a doubt, the fear of failing. And it is present in most companies - both private and public, those with many employees and those with few. Overall, companies spend too much time and energy anticipating and thinking through possible error scenarios to illusorily try to hit the mark in the selection and implementation of systems and technology.

When it comes down to it, very few IT projects are successful the first time around. However, if there is room to fail, try, fail, and try again, and you can harvest the learnings from both successes and failures, you will undoubtedly cross the finish line. Chances are you will cross it wiser, wealthier and better equipped to make changes as the world around you develops.

How can you get started if you don't have 200 employees or six departments to rely on?

Fortunately, it's much easier to get started if you're a small business than if you're a big one. Larger companies frequently have a more deeply ingrained corporate culture and processes, making it more challenging to adapt in a short time: the more links that must be converted, the more complex the process.

However, many of the same things apply to most businesses, and it boils down to the same five process steps:

  1. Brainstorm changes that will make it easier to run your business.
  2. Determine the actual value of each idea concerning the cost of implementation.
  3. Prioritise the idea or ideas that have the most value, are the least expensive, and are easiest to implement.
  4. Implement using the MVP principle (Minimum Viable Product).
  5. Scrap or keep the MVP, depending on whether it delivered the expected value. Then, with all your new knowledge, go back to step one.

The preceding procedure can be scaled and parallelised indefinitely, regardless of budget.

Alternatively, you can hire the necessary assistance, where you will gain experience and market knowledge from the start. As a result, the ideas in step 1 are better validated, and you divert less attention away from your core business. However, keep in mind that you cannot guarantee a positive outcome.

So, what advice would you give to companies considering starting a digitalisation and automation process to increase readiness for change?

Immerse yourself in it. Change is inevitable, and technology is constantly evolving. A company should be doing the same.

SUBSCRIBE

Stay up to date with our latest news

See our latest new

Thinker B
BLOG POST

Why marketers could benefit from thinking like an agency

As digital marketing has evolved, many CMOs have incorporated new skills and competencies into their organisational structure. It has become clear that insourcing marketing production is logical - it puts you closer to first-party data and internal stakeholders.

Read more
Arrow right
Time For Change2
BLOG POST

It is time for change

Today, the degree of adaptability is the most critical competitive parameter for companies. And this is not limited to large corporations. Technology has completely transformed our society over the last decade. How we communicate and how we consume. And the change is continuous.

Read more
Arrow right
Retail Takes The Heat. Again_W
BLOG POST

Retail takes the heat. Again.

Almost three years ago, retailers around the world had to re-evaluate their strategy because of Corona. Now it is happening all over again. Driven by a new virus, inflation and declining consumer confidence.

Read more
Arrow right