Environmental concerns, economic turbulence, the pandemic, and global trade issues – business leaders are juggling an ongoing range of challenges that are feeding uncertainty. As a result, they must ensure that their organizations are ready to withstand and overcome these challenges amid unpredictable and difficult business conditions. This requires shifting focus away from rigid operational processes built for long periods of relative stability to adaptive systems that equip organizations to handle and succeed in the face of unexpected change and ongoing uncertainty.
No one wants to be in a position where they’re unprepared for the unexpected, and many businesses have had to answer questions they’ve never been asked before as the pandemic has progressed. Keeping a dispersed workforce aligned and in sync is challenging for any business at the best of times. We found that 70 percent of 300+ companies surveyed already had employees working from home or remotely regularly. The challenges of remote working have been magnified by the Coronavirus pandemic – especially for companies that have had to quickly adapt to having home-based and scattered workforces for the first time. In this uncertain environment, companies need tools that go beyond email, chat and spreadsheets to manage how work gets done.
A more adaptable approach and modern work management tools are critical to driving collaboration and agility within enterprises. Organizations looking to boost productivity, adaptability and visibility need to look beyond old-school office technologies and adopt new tools that are purpose-built. The imperative today is to foster better communication and cooperation among teams regardless of where they are based. In other words, businesses need to embrace technologies that ensure they have the dexterity necessary to see them not just through lockdown and a phasing out period; they need solutions that support a strategy that enables them to adapt and remain competitive regardless of what the new normal looks like – and to adjust to the next unexpected disruption to business conditions.
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Adaptability is essential for survival
Covid-19 has highlighted a stark truth: adaptability is no longer just a matter of business success – now, it’s essential for business survival. Businesses of all kinds have to be able to effectively manage the ongoing impact of change while ensuring they can remain competitive. Those that embrace this reality will lead the way, and those that fail to prepare for it will fall behind.
Taking an agile approach enables workforces – especially project management teams – to adapt quickly and easily, promoting creative, out-of-the-box thinking throughout the business. Businesses that have embraced business agility have found that teams work better together, and their decision-making processes often become much quicker than would have been possible otherwise.
To enable adaptability, employers need to find ways to drive employee engagement and efficiency regardless of where people are. To manage and overcome the challenges of remote working, forward-thinking businesses must look beyond the traditional office software suites that many have become comfortable with and embrace work management technologies that enable the whole company to function in a more agile way. The upshot is to equip organizations to overcome challenges and seize new opportunities.
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Old-school tools don’t cut it anymore
As the pandemic has evolved, it has become increasingly clear that it is mission-critical for organizations to have technologies that create a centralized hub for all relevant work information – updated in real-time. Employees need methodologies, supported by a range of technologies, that facilitate a more collaborative environment in which managers and teams have greater visibility of project progress, priorities, and goals – and can coordinate activity on that basis – while company leaders are given more effective oversight. According to a recent report from IDG, over a third of C-Level executives rank cloud-based collaboration tools as a priority initiative in a bid to boost corporate resiliency. These capabilities are critical to ensuring activities across the organization are aligned with company objectives, keeping teams in step while preventing individuals from feeling as though they’re working in isolation and in the dark.
Given the need for organizations to build a foundation of agility to promote flexibility and resilience, those navigating the current crisis effectively are turning to highly adaptable, cloud-based IT platforms. Work management systems serve as a single point of truth for exchanging communications, tracking activities, and improving efficiency throughout the entire organization, ensuring that opportunities are not lost. Implanting the impetus to change with the marketplace in a business’s DNA assures that the organization can quickly modify strategies, resources, and staff to keep operations on track.
The uptake of innovative technologies that drive true workplace collaboration spans broader work management platforms offered by a range of global providers, communication apps such as Microsoft Teams and Slack, and toolchains for developing and deploying software such as Azure DevOps. Their use has been made easier because they can often be integrated, allowing teams to use the tools they want for various purposes while still keeping collaborative efforts connected. These types of intuitive solutions enable enterprises to rapidly adjust tactics, resources and personnel to keep operations on course when business conditions shift dramatically – providing organizations with a competitive edge through the current health and economic crisis and in a post-Covid world.
Over the next decade, businesses will continue to see a great deal of disruption, either from new technologies, changes wrought by the current health crisis or from new uncertainties not yet known. Today's business leaders must ensure that they are implementing plans that will enable them to overcome the challenges posed by the health crisis, as well as any unforeseen obstacles in the future.
With effective tools and practices in place, businesses can not only overcome many of the issues but can also enhance productivity to become truly business agile and succeed in a post-Covid world. To meet future challenges head-on, organizations need to have the right work management practices and technologies in place. The businesses that will be successful are those investing in solutions that maximize each and every individual’s time and productivity now. The future is becoming less predictable, and businesses must do everything they can to prepare for and succeed in a post-pandemic world.
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Matt Zilli, CEO, Clarizen