Is your business agile enough to survive future uncertainty?Published on 22 Jul 2020
Organizations have to adapt to uncertainty
Gartner published a report in late 2019 based on a frighteningly accurate prediction. To paraphrase: organizations have been focusing on digital transformation as the number one priority for success, now they need to focus on responding to uncertainty.
Admittedly, Gartner was referring to the uncertainty brought about by the likes of mergers and acquisitions, cost pressures and shifts in consumer demand, but the report went on to casually list other challenges.
Did Gartner have a crystal ball in which they could see the massive challenge lurking in our future?
Without a doubt, 2020 has proven to be the year in which everyone – consumers, governments and organizations, have – had to react to a sudden change from business-as-usual to massive uncertainty.
Build up organizational fitness
The Gartner report recommends that organizations build up their fitness in order to respond to uncertainty and come out stronger on the other side.
As evidence, it cites the difference between 5% compound annual growth reported by organizations that could be classified as ‘fit’, compared to 3.5% from unfit, more fragile organizations.
Digital agility and communication – key focus areas
The concept of business agility is not a new one. Being agile refers to a business’s ability to move quickly and easily, in response to changes.
This was already a goal of many organizations prior to 2020. The drivers of digital agility were to remain competitive by doing things faster at a lower cost. Businesses needed to ‘go digital’ in order to decrease reliance on IT resources and speed up response to market changes.
Then the pandemic and resultant restriction of movement forced the world to take giant leaps forward in the digitization of processes and communication. And so, today business agility is key to survive future uncertainty.
Why digital customer communication is more important now, than ever
Gartner gives a list of key capabilities that agile organizations have nurtured. In that list are the likes of ‘clear and effective leadership’ and ‘a consistent business strategy’. Also on the list is ‘articulating a clear and consistent vision to employees, consumers and partners’. In reality, none of the listed capabilities are going to have a positive impact without effective communication.
As in any type of relationship, one that exists between a company and its customers is made up of two major elements: the events or interactions that happen along the way and how these get communicated. Together, they make up a large part of the customer experience.
As 2020 has shown us, we are not always in control of what happens, but we are able to carefully craft each communication that goes to a customer.
Relevant, personalized communication is a vital part of providing a great customer experience. As is ensuring that all your customer communications are aligned in tone and brand. This is, relative to other digital transformation projects, a quick and cost-effective way to really impact customer experience.
Head of Global Solutions