Business Resiliency Tips: 21 Ways to Future-Proof the Organization
The events of 2020 highlighted the importance of business resiliency, the need to future-proof the organization, and the value of digital maturity.
Many major consultancies, such as Deloitte, McKinsey, and BCG, have pointed out the need to reimagine business models and focus on resilience because, in the years ahead, we may experience further economic volatility and uncertainty.
Building resiliency into the business is absolutely essential for companies that want to succeed and lead in 2021 and beyond.
21 ways to future-proof the business
An organizational resilience strategy should take a comprehensive approach to every area of the business, from IT to finance to the workforce as a whole.
With the right strategy, businesses will stand a much better chance of rebounding from difficult times and capitalizing on any opportunities that may arise.
Here are 21 ways that organizations can become more resilient by fortifying their existing systems, processes, and people:
1. Upgrade the employee training program
During volatile times, businesses must often change, sometimes rapidly and radically.
Since the workforce must drive such changes, it is crucial to have a robust training program that can support upskilling and reskilling at scale.
2. Cultivate a culture of learning
Employees will often resist change, which can make it difficult to future-proof the organization and pursue organizational change.
One way to reduce that resistance and improve employee performance is to cultivate a culture of learning. This can enhance workforce agility and, as a result, organizational agility.
3. Assess the organization’s digital maturity
Business resilience is closely tied to an organization’s digital maturity. Before investing in digital transformation, though, it is important to understand exactly where one falls on a digital maturity scale. Once that information is in hand, business leaders can set goals and create action plans.
4. Build an enterprise change management function
Change management is the discipline dedicated to designing and overseeing organizational change initiatives.
Since resilience depends on successful change, business leaders should build a formal change management function and follow change management best practices.
5. Create a digital adoption function
The digital revolution is well underway and it will not end any time soon.
To keep up, businesses should build a digital adoption unit that aims to streamline software implementation, onboarding, and training.
6. Integrate IT with the rest of the business
IT has become a major driver of value in the modern organization, regardless of industry.
Business leaders, such as CIOs, should work together to break down silos and keep IT at the heart of the business’s strategy.
7. Simplify the employee experience
The simpler the experience, the more engaged people will be.
This is true of both the customer experience and the employee experience, so it is important to simplify and streamline employees’ experiences–especially their digital experiences.
8. Centralize in-house communications
Standardizing and centralizing in-house communications improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness.
Those improvements can not only enhance business performance, they can help the workforce stay in sync and react quickly when faced with disruptive changes.
9. Create business continuity plans
Emergency business continuity plans and disaster recovery plans outline a set of procedures to follow during specific types of disruptive events, such as natural disasters or power outages.
These plans are essential to have since they can greatly reduce losses during crises.
10. Prepare for a remote future
In 2020, businesses around the world transitioned to a remote workplace.
Most expect that tomorrow’s workforce will be more remote, at least in part, so it is important to learn how to operate remotely when necessary.
11. Hybridize IT infrastructure
An organization’s choice of IT infrastructure not only affects cybersecurity strategies, it can also impact business performance.
Cloud and hybrid IT infrastructure, for instance, can enable remote working, improve IT service delivery to customers, and minimize outages across the board.
12. Innovate aggressively
In a dynamic and changing economy, innovation is not just advantageous, it is necessary for survival.
Business leaders should proactively invest in innovation by building innovation hubs, spending more on product research, and shortening product development times.
13. Invest in digital-first business models
Digital technology can be a competitive differentiator – and in many cases, it is the central focus of a company’s strategy.
In the digital future, it will become even more crucial to build business strategies around digital innovation.
14. Let CIOs lead digital initiatives
CIOs have traditionally been operational managers.
Given their experience and their capabilities, however, they are in an ideal position to lead digital transformation initiatives.
Automation platforms can cut costs, reduce errors, improve productivity, and more.
Along with other emerging technology trends, automation tools will become integral and essential for companies who want to stay lean, effective, and resilient in tomorrow’s fast-paced world.
16. Plan for multiple future scenarios
The future is unwritten and uncertain, which is why it is important to plan for multiple future scenarios.
Many consultancies, such as McKinsey and Deloitte, have used this approach to plot out potential COVID-19 recovery pathways.
17. Be more agile
Agile business models prioritize responsiveness and adaptability over static plans and processes.
Businesses that are more agile will naturally be more resilient.
18. Invest in composable IT solutions
Composable IT software, such as WalkMe’s digital adoption platform (DAP), is designed to seamlessly integrate other IT solutions.
Since IT complexity can pose a problem for efficiency and resiliency, it is important to streamline IT operations as much as possible.
19. Democratize data
Siloed data is a sign that business units are not collaborating as effectively as they could.
Democratizing data and improving collaboration can, among other things, improve organizational communication, which is essential for companies that want to stay resilient during difficult times.
20. If necessary, emphasize resiliency over efficiency
Though it is possible to balance resiliency and efficiency, in cases where a trade-off must be made, resiliency should come first.
Efficiency can only truly be achieved when there is stability off of which to build. Seeing as the market may well experience more volatility, it is best to focus on resilience first.
21. Transform now, not later
In 2020, the most resilient and digitally mature organizations performed the best.
Since there is no way to know when the next major disruption could occur, it is important to change sooner rather than later.