digital agility moving quickly and easilyThere is an article from Accenture Interactive titled “Digital Transformation, Re-imagine from the Outside In.”  One of the opening questions is attention-getting– “So how can companies develop a customer-relevant digital business when change is the only constant and best practices are being redefined at warp speed?”

So, how can they?  How do they?

Companies experiencing success in their digital transformation efforts are aggressively developing a new attribute as they learn how to put the dynamic voice of their customer into first place and reorganize their people, processes, and technology to respond.

That attribute is agility.

The Power to Move Quickly and Easily

Whether companies are becoming agile by intent or by accident, these organizations are putting pressure on their ability to respond quickly to the opportunities or challenges that stream in from their always connected customers.  They have turned an important corner—no longer defending their old ways of doing business, instead intentionally empowering people in a variety of ways across the organization to ensure that change happens—customer-driven change.

When we think about how companies enable agility in their digital technology ecosystem, a few key characteristics come to mind:

  • First, these companies identify the technologies they need in their core systems tier (ERP, commerce, CRM, BI, etc.) and they drive an efficient integration between them, reflecting the key business processes and workflows of the business. Within this is the key to a consistent and accurate multi-channel experience across all touch points for customers—a must-have.
  • Second, they invest in digital technologies that are extendable and configurable and avoid invasive customization wherever possible. In fact, many companies are now shedding custom code as much as they can in order to enable agility.
  • Third, the digital technologies they invest in are architected and focused on their vertical. If you are a retailer, invest in technologies built for retail.  If you are a manufacturer or distributor, invest in technologies built for manufacturing and distribution.  In fact, the complexity of business constructs, programs, and policies in manufacturing and distribution demands a platform that is built for these verticals or custom code will remain the order of the day.
  • Fourth, the commerce technologies they invest in are “pluggable,” allowing new technologies, especially in the area of marketing, to be easily plugged into their ecosystem for testing, iteration, and once proven, for full scale launch.
  • Fifth, the technologies they invest in provide an efficient upgrade path.  We are at the beginning of this new technology revolution.  It shows no sign of slowing down soon.  Keeping up will be increasingly important as this evolution continues to take place.

Agility Brings Quick Wins and Fuels Momentum

If you can put a checkmark by these characteristics in your digital ecosystem, you are well positioned to flex your technology muscle within your organization.  If you can’t put a checkmark by these characteristics, it’s time to initiate change.   While the breadth of change may seem overwhelming, approaching the change in a model enabled with agility will bring quick wins and fuel your momentum.  To get agility into your DNA, consider coming up with a scorecard that measures the number of agile initiatives started and completed on a quarterly basis as well as giving high scores for the ones started that fail before evolving into success.  It’s a new way of thinking.

Read about how AmeriPride Services re-defined their business by enhancing their online presence.