Technology-enabled innovations move into the mainstream for a reason – because they address an unmet need. Gartner reports that 40% of CIOs are now adopting the approach of Bimodal IT. What does this mean? It means that IT functions are increasingly split in two – as one team looks after legacy infrastructure to “keep the lights on” while another focuses on transformation projects, working in a more agile way.
The Agile Cloud
The cloud is a key technology enabler, of course, allowing organisations to run at a faster pace and respond to business change quickly with unprecedented flexibility. By providing on-demand access to almost unlimited computing and storage capacity, organisations can adopt a more agile approach to innovation or leverage analytics and big data techniques to transform their business data into actionable insights.
The availability of the cloud also opens up new possibilities in terms of device usage and communication between people and teams, accelerating the long-term trend towards more flexible patterns of working. Many organisations are already reaping the benefits – not just in terms of employee morale and work-life balance but more fundamentally, productivity and improved service delivery.
The Agile Customer
As Deloitte reported, 92% of organisations that view customer experience as a differentiator offer multiple contact channels. A multi-channel approach to customer interaction is the order of the day. Organisations can no longer funnel their valued customers into the sales or service channels that suit them. Instead they should be ready to interact with their customers on the channels they choose and at any time. A multi-channel approach requires a multi-channel view of customer experience. Organisations must better understand their customer journeys and strive to provide a seamless experience as their customers move from one channel to another.
A proactive social media presence is now essential for organisations seeking to be more agile and responsive to customers. In fact a report by J.D. Power in 2013 found that 67% of consumers surveyed had used a company’s social media site for servicing – highlighting the importance of social media as a customer service channel.
The Agile Enterprise
The benefits aren’t limited to customer engagement – previously manual business processes are being digitised helping free up knowledge workers to undertake more value adding tasks. This could not come at a better time for private sector organisations emerging from a protracted downturn without the anticipated increase in resourcing, or for a public sector beset by austerity budgets. Professionals across the economy are expected to do more with less – or at best, do more with the same. This is the new normal. Here, digital transformation should be seen not merely as an update of existing processes and services, but as an opportunity to re-imagine the way the organisation operates from end to end.
We will explore the dimensions of the agile enterprise in a number of forthcoming posts, covering areas such as:
- Balancing continuity with agile innovation
- Flexibility – the business-critical benefit that is moving UK businesses to the cloud
- What an agile and seamless customer experience looks like
- The key benefits and considerations of cloud-based unified communications
- The challenges of legacy infrastructure in a cloud-enabled age
- Securing buy-in for digital transformation projects
We’re running a survey that explores digital transformation programmes across both public and private sectors. What are the drivers? Are there any significant barriers to overcome? And how are different types of organisations progressing?
Respondents who complete the survey will receive a complimentary report of insights and findings at this crucial stage in the journey to a digital first business world.