Business agility is a lot more than a buzzword these days. Over the past several years, agile businesses are those which have been able to withstand many of the economic shocks brought about by the pandemic. Changing market, consumer, and employee demands have also forced many businesses to embrace business agility.
But what are the qualities that exemplify business agility, and why do they make companies successful? Here, we take a look at business agility and the qualities that make it a successful approach in almost any industry.
Definition of Business Agility
An agile approach to business refers to a set of philosophies and practices that prioritize the flexibility and responsiveness of an organization to changing customer and market needs. This approach emphasizes collaboration between teams, early and frequent feedback from customers and stakeholders, and iterative development cycles that help businesses stay competitive in a rapidly changing market. It is based on the idea that organizations should be able to adapt quickly in order to remain competitive and successful.
Three Characteristics of Business Agility
While there are many ways that companies exemplify business agility, these three are characteristics consistent with many successful agile businesses.
- Adaptability: Businesses that are slow to adapt get left behind. Companies that take an agile approach to business can move quickly when roadblocks appear and find ways around them. Those that exemplify business agility seek new opportunities and embrace challenges as a way to grow.
- Open to new technology: Another hallmark of business agility is an openness to technology. While embracing technology for technology’s sake isn’t necessarily a smart business practice, companies that exhibit business agility are open to utilizing technology to move ahead. This may mean using technology to automate processes or streamline systems. Technology becomes the platform from which they can launch new initiatives and support existing business growth. A McKinsey report states that digital adoption has taken off at both the organizational and industry levels. This is not surprising considering the pandemic forced businesses to quickly accommodate remote employees, a good example of an agile business practice in which technology played a significant role.
- Modified work environment: Recently, lower unemployment rates have forced companies to rethink their work environments. Those that swore they would never allow telecommuting or hybrid working environments are finding they need to offer these benefits in order to attract the best talent. Likewise, many traditional companies are looking into fractional roles and other modified work situations and environments to ensure the best talent is in place in critical positions within their companies. An agile business is willing to modify its work environment, thus allowing it to meet the demands of exacting job seekers pursuing fulfilling, difference-making careers.
Business Agility Is the Key to Future Success
It’s easy to see why agility is important. It’s not always easy for companies to follow through on an agile approach. Often, it’s easier to continue doing what’s always been done instead of taking the sometimes-painful steps towards change.
However, without change, companies fail to grow. Every day, new technologies, opportunities, and changes continue to disrupt the marketplace, and businesses that do not adapt or pursue these changes will ultimately fail.
With business agility comes resilience, and resilience ensures that no matter what the circumstances, a company will find a way to continue forward. And, although having up-to-date technology isn’t always necessary for business agility, the right systems can go a long way to support an agile approach.
Emerald TC provides software and consulting. We can help you choose the right ERP system for your needs. Contact us or call 678-456-6919 for more information.