Organisations are forced to pursue change as the race to transformation becomes more heated than it has ever been. The challenge for many business leaders is knowing how to drive this change.
Where to begin, what the future of transformation looks like and what are the steps to changeare all questions that have to be met head on by businesses of all kinds.
Business agility is often the end goal for organisations that seek this transformation, but what does it actually mean? The ability to compete and innovate effectively in the digital age, responding effectively to disruption in the market and bringing to market innovative solutions are all common desired outcomes of greater business agility.
The purpose of business agility is to ensure that organisations have the ability to deliver fast and respond quickly. This means that they can be prepared to drive innovation amongst a competitive market, whilst adapting quickly and optimising the key drivers to success.
“It is about being nimble enough to move with whatever is being thrown at you in terms of competitive landscape,” Wilco Noordermeer, Senior Manager of Professional Services for Architecture and Engineering at Rackspace Technology said.
“It could be that you are faced with a startup or another company that is quickly eating away at your parts of a well-established market, or to be able to deal with curveballs that are being thrown from other sides.”
In short, businesses with agile teams, systems and processes are the most likely to thrive, and technology leaders are at the vanguard when it comes to achieving true business agility.
Although, it is understood that striving for agility comes with some challenges. This can include essential factors such as a shortage of buy-in and limited support from management. In many cases, IT leaders often find that there are only a few staff that are familiar with agile software platforms which means organisation-wide training is essential.
“The common challenges are always in themes. We have a leadership challenge, a mindset challenge which is more cultural and we see an execution challenge,” Abhijit Pani, Enterprise Customer Engagement Officer at Rackspace Technology explained.
“You might have a great leadership with brilliant drivers, but the culture doesn’t want to change or you might have a great culture that wants to thrive but execution is not properly planned,” he added.
In some instances, management are likely to appear resistant to change of old frameworks and this is often a setback to achieving full business agility. It then becomes the duty of IT leaders to prove the benefits of agility and why changes to strategy will enable the business to succeed.
Such benefits include the opportunity to scale across a larger market like never before. In fact, survey figures show that 65 percent expect to see higher customer satisfaction and retention from improved business agility, whilst 54 percent expect a better competitive advantage.
Online television network, Netflix is one example of a business that has over the years transformed into a market-leading streaming service by disrupting its own business model whilst retaining agility as it scaled.
Another is UK-based ecommerce firm Moonpig, which successfully streamlined its software development processes over the years to deliver full agility across all its offices. Founded in 2000, Moonpig saw the need to start by aligning teams whilst promoting cross-functionality which saw an increase in revenue growth.
Rackspace Technology has seen a huge rise in the number of organisations looking to digitise their business, and that level of interest has only increased as a result of the current situation around the world, ensuring that they remain engaged throughout the different levels of the decision-making process.
“The desire to change is the first thing, they [customers] have accepted that this is the best thing to do to survive, adopt and evolve,” Pani said. “The second thing is they have seen that the desire has prompted them to engage with us at a new level, a thought leadership and strategic level.”
The demand to enforce remote working has seen the importance of agility and the resilience and accessibility of certain IT systems hold significant importance, especially when it comes to a situation such as this.
Rackspace Technology has been able to combine people, processes and culture to help organisations align their systems in the best way to suit working in multiple situations.
According to Noordermeer, this is particularly important to have in place before deploying new IT and technology systems. “Technology without people and process doesn’t do much and especially if I think about process in the context of cloud, I’m thinking about things like governance, which is a massive topic,” he said.
It is important that organisations have their culture and processes aligned to fully achieve agility. All traditional frameworks must be built around the agility to prevent failed innovation, customer satisfaction and so on.
“We actually work on this a lot with customers, because to successfully leverage these technologies you need to put a structure in place, whether that is through architecture standards or patterns, but also governance around who can do what right.” Noordermeer said.
“The work done up front in building the right organizational structure and mindsets for both the technical and non-technical teams is crucial to build an organization that is able to innovate at pace. We have seen this with customers where our work has helped them to implement new tech faster once the right structures were in place.” Noordermer said.
Overall, every organisation should consider the cultural structure of the business before embarking on a journey of transformation. It is also important that people and processes are aligned to filter a smooth adoption of IT systems and technologies, without that, the desired results of the transformation, delivering faster and responding quicker (agility), cannot be achieved.
Rackspace Technology continues to partner with organisations to develop their tactical and strategic digital transformation plans. If you would like to find out more you can visit their professional services page here or reach out to one of the Rackspace Technology specialists at +44203 811 3332.