Technologies3 min read

11 Ways to Boost Business Agility & Adapt — Fast

Ashley Speagle
11 leaders share how organizations improve business agility by adjusting their people, processes and technology.

Time and again, organizations that quickly adapt and pivot during periods of rapid change prove the most enduring. When the market fluctuates, these businesses churn out apps and services that reflect customers’ new needs. When the world turns turbulent, leading companies also keep employees safe and productive no matter what.

How do leading organizations adapt?

1. Deepen Digital Skills and Knowledge

Successful retailers today are defined by their ability to leverage digital tools to create differentiated, competitive customer experiences. That’s why companies today must be led by a team with deep understanding in digital.

Wojciech Buczkowski, CEO, of Komputronik S.A.

2. Promote Software-Minded Leaders

“Whether you're in healthcare, manufacturing or finance, there’s a huge part of your business that is tech-enabled," says Phares Kariuki, CEO of Node Africa. "And for that reason, often the best people to lead organizations today are those with a background in software and technology. Who else can better build competitive tools and services for customers to interact with? Once considered a department within an organization, technology – and those skilled in it – have established their place not only in the boardroom but in the single most important seat at the table.”

3. Empower Employees to Work Anywhere

Our main digital transformation priority is to provide all internal users with a safe, secure and convenient way to perform their daily requirements, while minimizing additions to CapEx and OpEx.

Travis Robertson, Information Technology Manager, Toppan Interamerica, Inc.

4. Foster Collaboration Between Teams

“ZIM is one of the leading carriers in the global container shipping industry," says Eyal Ben Amram, CIO of ZIM. "Our sector is all about flexibility, efficiency and the best service to our customers. With VMware Pivotal Labs we have changed the rules of the game. We now work as one team (business and IT), with constant interaction and a fast supply of solutions and services, following the highest business value. We are capable to respond in real time to every business enquiry or question. Thanks to our current focus on applications we will be able to continue to lead in the following years.”

5. Build Flexibility Into the Infrastructure

Our digital transformation efforts so far made it possible to move workloads at will to find the most economical and efficient place to run them. Our next priority is utilizing the cloud to be more flexible when unexpected events happen.

Patrick McGraw, Senior Systems Engineer, Western Carolina University

6. Develop an App Strategy

“The development and provision of apps are key to optimize data value in complete security, and bring more agility to our customers in their space missions in the fields of telecommunications, Earth observation or satellite navigation," says Anthony Mollier, director of digital transformation for Thales Alenia Space.

7. Modernize Existing Applications

The most urgent priority is to update our applications, and we’re opting for a cloud-native, cloud-first strategy. Early efforts have already helped us improve speed to market.

Steve Lester, Senior Technician, Co-op

8. Accelerate Application Development

“Today, fast application development is the deciding factor in offering differentiated, competitive customer experiences," says Albert Alberts, IT architect at KPN.

9. Adopt an Agile Mindset

Our team’s agile mindset and culture meant we were able to more quickly respond to needed business requirements and changes during the pandemic.

Charles Roffe, Executive Advisor Cloud Center of Excellence Lead, CVS Health

10. Speed up the Delivery of New Apps and Services

“Harel is one of the biggest insurance companies in Israel," says Amir Levy, SVP for IT and cybersecurity at Harel Insurance. "We pride ourselves on leading the digital transformation of the Israeli insurance industry. A large part of this success is our ability to deliver new apps and new services at speed. These apps enable us to offer differentiated, competitive customer experiences and keep one step ahead of the competition.”

11. Embrace Cloud-Native Technologies

We notice that the market is developing rapidly. KPN is a large telco, and we see that smaller organizations are often better able to adapt to new situations. So, there is quite a bit of pressure on the IT organization and developers to reduce the time-to-market. The only way to do that is to use modern cloud-native applications. This allows us to release new releases in a few days instead of a few months. As a result, customers benefit from the latest updates faster, which improves the customer experience.

Albert Alberts, IT architect at KPN