Today’s business landscape has never been more challenging, or more exciting. The rate of change is increasing exponentially. New technologies, new ways of working and new business models are emerging. Everyone’s talking digital transformation, a term that’s becoming too much of a catch all, and in any case, it puts the focus on technology, when we believe we should be talking about business outcomes and value creation.
Here at Bloor we see our role as the navigator, helping CIOs and business leaders to understand, manage and prioritise their strategy, and helping vendors with the clarity of their messaging and propositions. To be effective as an organisation today you have to think about more than just technology.
Louisiana State University business professor Leon C. Megginson’s excellent interpretation of “survival of the fittest” from the Origin of Species, often misquoted as Charles Darwin himself, was “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change”. The same is true in business. That’s why, from our research on both successful and failing organisations, we’ve developed a framework for dealing with today’s disruption. As Bloor Analyst Martin Banks puts it, “all businesses are now (even if they don’t accept it yet) in a state of permanent transformation to new business models“. We call it Mutable Business, an approach explaining “How organisations can successfully transform in a continuous way”.
Whatever industry sector you are in, we can guarantee that your business model is under threat by some smarter organisation using software, hardware, algorithms and the internet in a different way, with a new business model, to disrupt you and steal your market. To outperform them, you need to think in terms of competing with yourself, constantly. You need to transform your organisation in to a “Permanent State of Reinvention”.
We are dealing with new customer and stakeholder behaviours, disruptive technologies, changing regulatory policies, and the effects of globalisation on our supply chains. Yet many CIOs and senior executives that we meet feel their organisations aren’t capable of driving the transformational changes necessary. We believe you can, if you look at your organisation holistically, end to end in terms of Business, People, and Technology.
In terms of Business you need to think of new business models, new ways to create value, different market places and ecosystems, as well as new information flows and changing your processes to be more responsive.
Business transformation only succeeds with the right leadership and by getting your People on board with the big idea. You need to think in terms of employee engagement, collaboration and fostering an environment for creativity and innovation.
In all of this business change, Technology is the driver. The shift to cloud, social, mobile and other emerging technologies is at the heart of supporting your change. We have been evolving our research focus for the past five years and believe we are in a new data driven era of Software Defined Business, and Big Software which allows organisations to effectively virtualise their entire architecture. With data as the cornerstone of your solution, you will consider all of the options to deploy the right infrastructure for each of the many insights you are looking for. You will look at app modernisation and Software as a Service, with a focus on user experience. You’ll need to deal with the opportunities of IoT and the explosion of connected devices and look to apply AI and automation across the whole technology map to both add value and remove costs. Our approach allows organisations to abstract, personalise and optimise all their business processes for true business agility.
But don’t forget all of these changes need to work through your Stakeholder Engagement by which we mean your customers, suppliers, business partners, employees and other stakeholders in the business. All aspects of the approach need to be governed by Trust, and the most successful organisations deploy a Design Thinking mentality across all that they do.
Across all of this, the smart organisations are thinking Agile, not just in their approach to development, but in their management style and their business practice and change management. Your transformation should not be seen as a single, long project, but as continuous improvement programme, with what we call short throws – an iterative approach with 2-4 week sprints, and manageable milestones.
Our research shows that the digitally savvy organisations that get this right generate more revenue, more profits and are worth more on the stock market. If you apply the Mutable Business framework properly you can work with the speed of a start up at the scale of an enterprise.