The Covid-19 pandemic has unfrozen past constraints, routines, habits and ‘ways of doing things around here’ for many businesses. For those willing to seize the moment, it has provided a once in a lifetime opportunity for driving transformation, excising the legacy technology and legacy management thinking that stifle innovation.
Organisations that emerge stronger from Covid-19 will be those that leverage the full potential of current and emerging technologies for reimagining customer engagement and how they operate internally, reinventing their underlying business model in the process.
To do this, a two-step process will be required.
The current focus of most CTOs, CIOs and CEOs is on building resilience. They must ensure that the right IT infrastructure, software and other digital tools are in place to support a prolonged period of remote working securely and efficiently.
They need to streamline and automate key processes to reduce costs and improve competitiveness, especially in a post-Brexit era. Also, customer-facing technologies to support changing B2C and B2B customer expectations need to be adopted. All this has to be supported by the cloud.
Simultaneously, there is an urgent need to accelerate our collective journeys to becoming Modern Intelligent Workplaces (MIWs). This can be achieved by building on the recent ‘innovations born of necessity’ by embedding technology at the core of everything we do, streamlining workflows, automating processes, improving efficiency and reducing costs.
By doing so, it will create the agile, fast-moving, collaborative, data-driven organisations essential for survival and growth in a VUCAD world – Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous and Digital.
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Becoming an MIW is no longer optional. The only question now is HOW do we accelerate the journey?
A useful starting point is to undertake a Digital Dexterity Audit – an honest assessment and audit of your organisation’s readiness to become modern and intelligent.
In undertaking this audit, it is important to remember that the journey to becoming modern and intelligent is not just about technology. While making the right technology and software decisions is critical, the MIW journey requires the effective integration of strategy, people, processes, systems, organisation, culture and technology. Non-technology issues are often the main barriers to transformation progress.
Consequently, your Digital Dexterity Audit should cover a wide range of technology and non-technology issues:
- To what extent does your organisation need to reinvent its underlying business model, your modus operandi?
- What scope for improvement exists in your current use of technology to enhance the customer experience?
- What progress has been made in streamlining, automating and transforming key business processes?
- Do you need to embed a data culture in your organisation?
- Is your technology infrastructure resilient enough to support ‘new economy’ flexible and remote working practices – efficiently, securely and cost-effectively?
- How can we best leverage the full potential of existing and emerging technologies to improve staff engagement and collaboration, supporting the agile, smart teams critical to transformation success?
- What cultural barriers to change will we face? How can these be overcome?
- Is our organisational structure ‘fit-for-purpose’ in a volatile world – agile, flexible and responsive?
- Do we have the leadership dexterity to drive digital supported transformation?
As we move out of the Covid-19 survival stage, we are entering unchartered waters. Once the Digital Dexterity Audit has been completed, an agreed roadmap and implementation plan, supported by ‘new economy’ leadership approaches, should be developed.
Is your organisation ready to seize the moment?
We will be discussing the issues raised in this paper in more detail during our ‘Seize the Moment’ session at DT2020 taking place on the 28th October.