Today’s business environment is incredibly demanding in terms of time-to-market: you literally need to run twice as fast to maintain the same pace. Gaining a competitive edge and staying ahead of the curve requires even greater acceleration, as increased competition and customer demand for high-end technologies dictate the need for innovation and faster delivery of services.
According to a recent survey by Accenture, nearly 80% of respondents said they feel threatened by their tech savvy competitors and are concerned about how digitization could impact their market share. Under these circumstances, implementing innovations is the only way for many businesses to stay afloat.
But a digital transformation in it of itself has to assume a much faster pace. What previously would have taken 8-10 months of thorough planning must now be accomplished over much shorter time spans. Otherwise the business driver for implementing innovations could quickly become irrelevant. An Agile approach to digital transformation has to be taken up if organizations want to embrace fundamental changes.
But how can Agile accelerate digital transformation?
Below, we will take a closer look at the Agile approach to digital transformation, its key benefits, and uncover its potential to speed up the advent of the 4th industrial era.
Let’s start with the definition – what is agile digital transformation? The Agile approach to building software solutions is really nothing new: Its principles are at the core of project management methodologies like Scrum and Kanban. However, just recently, organizations have started to use Agile methods to propel digital transformation.
The Agile approach enables businesses to meet constantly changing requirements, by splitting the tasks into 30 day sprints. Within the sprint, the working concept undergoes refinement and finally gets shared with end users. After receiving feedback, the concept gets tweaked and refined once again, thus ensuring not only continuous development, but also flexibility and adaptability to changing demands.
Conversely, conventional approaches to innovations require long-term planning and implementation, are resistant to change, and the consequences of their adoption are irreversible. In today’s fast-changing environment, they may often lose relevance long before they were implemented.
The Agile manifesto declares quite different values: individuals, working software, customer interaction and responding to change over processes, documentation, pre-negotiated contracts and fixed plans.
Thus, Agile demonstrates adaptability, and is perfectly tailored to making quick changes on the go, tackling issues in real-time and instantly responding to challenges. Applied in order to drive enterprise digital transformation, this approach has the potential to dramatically accelerate innovations.
Lets now focus more specifically on the benefits: why should enterprises apply Agile as their main digital transformation methodology?
To stand up to increasing competition, companies have to be open to experimentation, capable of testing new solutions, give them up if they prove ineffective and quickly launch new projects. In the present-day’s fast-paced market climate, flexibility and adaptability spell success.
Here are the benefits that can materialize when the Agile approach is applied in enterprise digital transformation:
- Speed: the Agile approach is incremental. Rather than trying to deliver end-to-end solutions all at once, it splits the big task into small chunks, gradually introducing step-by-step improvements. The digital transformation should never really end, and Agile ensures the improvements advance continuously.
- Cost: the Agile approach will not attempt to change the entire enterprise ecosystem just for the sake of it. First of all, it will align the transformative changes with the aims of the business. Focusing first on systems and processes that need improvement, Agile digital transformation will help organizations introduce changes that are both relevant and cost-effective. Ultimately, instant ROI will be the reward.
- Low risk: within small sprints, continuous testing and experimentation is unlikely to lead to any negative disruptions and damages. By constantly requesting feedback and acting on it, the Agile approach to digital transformation will enable organizations to verify if the strategy which had been planned out will ultimately prove viable without significant risks while avoiding any irreversible changes. Short deployment cycles help indicate risks and errors long before they lead to serious damages.
- Flexibility: Agile values are inherently adaptable with any plan, no matter how perfect it may initially appear to be. Yet, it also relies on executive vision, while making real-time adjustments to ensure the best result. Changes are a natural part of the transformative process, and makes responding to them a priority. Agile teams are ardent learners; they welcome new ideas and focus on continuous improvement.
Agile approaches to digital transformation enable organizations to constantly improve and refine their strategies. Through ongoing alignment with business goals and incorporating project feedback, the Agile principles help companies adapt their transformative efforts to the constantly evolving requirements of today’s fiercely competitive market.
In other words incremental approach not only enables companies to run constant reality-checks, but also helps respond to current challenges in a timely and relevant manner.
All organizations face obstacles during their digital transformation. The most frequent roadblocks include organizational resistance to change, legacy infrastructures and processes, and surprisingly, a lack of clear executive vision.
A Gartner survey indicates 63% of C-level executives don’t really know how next generation technologies can add value to their business. Only 13% have a clear vision of the next innovation they will invest in, and understand how they can speed up the transformation process.
At Eastern Peak we know how to effectively accelerate digital transformation. Our top experts have extensive experience in planning and implementing transformation programs across various industries. Having already facilitated the digital transformation process for a number of enterprises throughout the world, we can help you improve your time-to-market, reduce expenses and promote positive changes.
Need a roadmap for enterprise digital transformation? Contact us now for a free consultation with one of our top experts.