It takes a certain type of business leader – the Maverick – who sees these challenges as opportunities. Making bold decisions that will set their organisation up for success in our ever-changing digital world, ground-breaking businesses realise that change is not a destination, it’s a journey and open thinking is critical, says Clint Oram, Co-founder and CMO, SugarCRM.
Competition is rising and the rate of change within business is accelerating. To stay ahead organisations must embrace the digital age if they are to stay afloat in an overly saturated market. But the pressure to digitally transform is being felt by many businesses, according to recent Sales Tech report by CITE Research and SugarCRM, which found that 63 per cent of companies are worried about the expense and maintenance needed to keep systems up to date. Moreover, 34 per cent view their organisation’s unwillingness to change with the times as a major hurdle to tech deployment.
It takes a certain type of business leader – the Maverick – who sees these challenges as opportunities. Making bold decisions that will set their organisation up for success in our ever-changing digital world, ground-breaking businesses realise that change is not a destination, it’s a journey and open thinking is critical.
To remain ahead, organisations need to embrace digital and transform from the inside out. Given that at a Gartner event, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak urged businesses to consider implementing a Chief Disruption Officer because companies need “someone to look out for what is coming, for what might disrupt your own business” – it’s clear that technology and strong leadership is the recipe for success for any firm looking to digitally transform. So, what can businesses do to ensure they get it right in our ever-changing digital world?
- Get your own people on board
Companies that instil a culture of innovation across the organisation at all levels will reap the rewards. This involves making sure that employees are successfully onboarded and given the right tools to work in tandem with technology. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems provide employees with generous amounts of information, so they can work more productively and ultimately understand the customer more. With research by Adobe finding that 41 per cent of marketing departments don’t think they work well with other business functions, it’s clear firms must inspire change from within.
Mavericks know that a genuine relationship must be fostered with their customers. These game-changers drive customer-centricity in new ways, breaking down the silos and pulling customer data together from across the organisation and beyond. Mavericks integrate technology freely and easily within the business, and don’t underestimate the added value of the human workforce.
- Think beyond today
Technology is always progressing. In the 1960s Gordon Moore coined the term Moore’s law, which predicted that the overall processing power of a computer would double every two years. Smart businesses work with this principle, building agility into their organisation so they can change with the times.
It’s essential that businesses guard against future problems and foresee any issues that may arise further down the line. This involves being cautious about potential hidden costs from vendors that could be unclear from the start. It’s vital that businesses build in flexibility and scalability from the off-set – so your systems can evolve naturally with the organisation.
- Work within your company’s limits
Every organisation is unique, and so the pace of change is different across the board. Smart businesses work in tandem with their team’s capabilities. They understand that unnecessary updates can cause office lock-downs, and derail from work ethic – or worse sabotage pre-planned change.
While some cloud technology providers force upgrades at the same time, I feel strongly that teams should have control over when new features are added. This helps create a trusting relationship between businesses and tech providers and it allows employees to work in unison alongside technology – so they have time to understand it. With research from Progress claiming that 62 per cent of respondents see improved alignment of IT as a benchmark for successful digital transformation, it’s important to bring the users on the journey with you.
- Be resilient
As digital transformation gathers pace, it brings with it new sets of issues and responsibilities. Mavericks realise that IT services need to support data flow and that your workforce needs to understand how to harness technology in the most efficient ways possible. Moreover, they understand that technology now dictates the customer journey. Integrating technology might seem like a daunting task but there will inevitably be failures and there is no quick-fix solution.
What’s ideal today might not be tomorrow so it’s vital that organisations are agile in their approach and are quick to identify what works and quickly eliminate what doesn’t. When Mavericks drive change and adopt an agile approach they will truly help their business stand the test of time.