Good news: Companies, supply chains, and ecosystems are inextricably connected, and any changes in customer needs, technology, and business trends in one corner of the global ecosystem will ripple across the globe.
Bad news: The pressures of the ongoing trade situation and disruption from the COVID-19 lockdown have generated a level of volatility that creates both risk and extraordinary opportunity.
Forrester suggests that adaptive enterprises able to quickly sense and respond to different external forces will be the ones to succeed. It suggests investing in changes through three pillars:
- Start with market adaptiveness. Firms need to be able to go fast when necessary, but they also need the ability to adapt to changing customer, market, or technology conditions. To achieve this, organizations need to collect and analyse real-time data about their customers and operations to be able to under and adapt to the needs of the market. CIOs must also work with other business leaders to accelerate their internal innovation processes and launch new services that leverage broader ecosystems.
- Invest in emerging and platform technologies. Capitalizing on new technologies — and driving technology-driven innovation through experimentation — should be a strategic priority for CIOs. Emerging technologies like cloud, AI, 5G, Industrial Internet and blockchain are key areas to focus on. Companies should also build technology platforms that leverage digital ecosystems and enable end-to-end agility.
- The future of work: Improve organizational adaptiveness. Without this third pillar, the first two initiatives will not be sufficient in the fight for market dominance. Implement enterprise collaboration platforms that enable workforce cooperation while also leveraging automation to simplify manual processes. Finally, firms should also revisit employee sourcing and motivation strategies to maintain productivity.
Danny Mu, principal analyst at Forrester, believes unpredictability is the new normal.
“Black swan incidents like the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to continue to emerge, and the global economy will become increasingly unpredictable. In such dynamic business environments, CIOs and other business leaders in China must build and invest in adaptiveness now, before it’s too late,” he concluded.