Why You Need an Agile Business Model to Survive

6 June 2017

Surviving in the Digital Age: Why Becoming Agile Should be Your Big Transformation Goal for 2017

We live in a world where the consumer market is as vibrant and exciting as ever. Trends can change at the drop of a hat; a brand can make or break their reputation in a single tweet; and peer reviews govern how the public approaches a service or product. As a business, you need to adopt an operational mindset that’s in line with this market. You must evolve as it evolves—by embracing digital transformation and thriving to become an agile business.

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What does being agile mean?

In the broadest sense of the word, following an agile business model means your company has an operational structure that gives it the tools to react quickly and efficiently to the ebb and flow of your market. To achieve this type of responsiveness, you need a huge degree of adaptability and flexibility at every level of your organisation.

An agile business model should be all encompassing. Your IT architecture needs to be adaptable and transformative to respond to market trends as they happen. Your teams need to operate on an almost ad hoc base if need be, without being bogged down by outdated hierarchical structures and poor digital tools that only slow down your operational responsiveness.

Through the years, more and more businesses have adopted an agile business model, harnessing the digital transformation that’s come to define the 21st century: social media, cloud-based IT solutions and mobile platforms. Becoming agile isn’t just limited to one part of your business: it should rather be a mindset should determine how people work in every aspect.

This can range from development to marketing: this blog from Econsultancy lists 26 prime examples of agile marketing campaigns by a wide variety of brands, from Audi and BMW to Virgin and Oreo. Even a seemingly static market like the tractor industry sees the benefit of going agile. John Deere, for instance, has implemented an agile business model that has impacted their manufacturing processes and helped them deliver products that are in line with the modern market’s expectations.

Be the disrupter

In a previous article, we established that choosing the agile business model route has become a reality for many organisations. This is why your company needs to stay abreast of these innovations—your direct competition is probably already implementing agile solutions themselves. To avoid competition becoming industry disrupters, beat them to the punch and become one first.

Being a disrupter means looking at a market, ascertaining what exists and what can be bettered through market research and SWOT analysis. Once you have established where weaknesses lie and how you can turn these into strengths, you swoop in and seize the opportunity to create a market demand that you alone can provide for. For recent examples of successful disrupters, look no further than the success stories of Airbnb, Uber and Spotify.

Start from the inside

Agile market disrupters are a reality, which is why it might not be a bad idea to disrupt yourself as an exercise—it will be less damaging than having somebody beat you to it, after all.

So, if you only have resources for one major operational overhaul this year, be disruptive and develop an agile business plan to turn the metrics in your SWOT analysis from Ws into Ss.

In doing so, you’ll be able to redefine your company’s course and ensure that your now agile business plan will give you the leverage needed to remain a key player in your industry.

If you’d like to find out more about meeting challenges like digital disruption by adjusting your business model, download our eBook: Disrupt or become disrupted or see our digital transformation services.

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