While frail economies and wounded businesses have become a pertinent theme on the business pages, some businesses are busy reinventing themselves along several branches of their strategic roots. The impact of the COVID pandemic on the business ecosystem cannot be simplified to suffering business models amid an air of uncertainty. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to challenges that have not only pushed the frontiers of the industry 4.0 paradigm but also ushered a chase to the end line in this volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) climate—reinventing the core with solid digital strategies. In the post-pandemic world, businesses will see success through the following four pillars of growth.
Visionary leadership to steer through rapid organizational change
In this self-feeding loop of the need for digital transformation and the ROI on digital initiatives, industries have a pressing need for a mindset change and transformative thinking at the C-level. Companies that are riding the downward slide of the S-curve because of stale offerings of little contextual relevance, must redefine their products and services—top players are fine-tuning their digital strategies in real-time, today. The new-age tech leaders should drive a dynamic approach to strategy, both real-time and adaptive in nature. A great example of this is a 3PL customer who has launched warehouse-as-a-service, an innovation during COVID to overcome unutilized assets.
Redefining customer-centricity in a post-pandemic world
When we talk business model reinvention, customer-centricity is often the driver. However, in a post-pandemic world, customer-centricity and loyalty will trace a tighter asymptote, where smaller frustrations will risk greater penalties. Therefore, the cost of poor digital engagement will be amplified. To cater to the increasingly digital savvy customers, faster, intuitive, and frictionless engagement will be the baseline, and platform-centric thinking will be the key to customer success. As e-commerce becomes the playing field for competitive advantage for both manufacturers and sellers, a 360-degree digital strategy that matches digitally augmented product and service offerings to sharper customer personas will become the driver of growth. Additionally, digitally empowering customers with consistent, real-time omnichannel journeys will be the new benchmark for the marketing departments.
Building scalability at the center for agile models of growth
Amid this multi-dimensional change, companies should focus on building scalability within their reinvention strategy, which means legacy systems and platform dependence should not be tainted with a sunk-cost fallacy. With changing distancing norms and dynamically changing regulations across geographies, companies must hunt for semi-manual processes that bottleneck expansion efforts with workforce and policy constraints, or a combination of both. Therefore, aligning IT strategy objectives with digitally-enabled processes will translate into positive ROI in the long run. Further, by adopting Emergent Architecture that is more aligned to a persona-driven approach, business outcomes and a platform-centric design will accelerate the reinvention.
Leveraging data to recreate value and optimize the model
For a successful digital strategy, charting a roadmap with real-time data will be as critical as continuously learning from it. With greater digital adoption across the landscape, the velocity, variety, volume, and complexity of enterprise data is growing rapidly. As a result, corporate spending on AI and ML-based products and services will go up—projections forecast an increase of $100 billion by 2023. By leveraging data, companies can create more personalized offerings to customers with the end goal of becoming a data-driven organization resulting in significant revenue growth.
All these factors point to a rapidly evolving business landscape. However, tackling this maze of complex organizational change will also call for creative change management strategies that not only ensure a smooth transition but also envision a focused work culture on business process outcomes. Leading digital transformation amid a shortage of digital talent will be another crucial challenge, which will lead to notable cross-industry collaborations with digital partners. Global giants such as Amazon and JP Morgan Chase are already spending millions of dollars on organization-wide upskilling efforts. HCL has established a robust training program for upskilling over 100,000 employees using state-of-the-art online training programs. Therefore, talent transformation programs will need to be institutionalized to achieve an efficient and productive digital augmented workforce.
Despite the VUCA challenges, this global change will not only future-proof businesses but also help them deliver value with meaningful products and services through business models that account for risk as well as cost. Companies that can deliver better value than their competitors will enjoy a loyal customer base that is willing to pay a greater premium for better services. Hence, accelerating strategic digital initiatives should be a priority for companies that are struggling to stay relevant in today’s VUCA ecosystem.