Businesses have learned first-hand that there are devastating financial impacts to not being agile, especially in a limited timeframe. In this blog, we outline three achievable ways to use business agility in a time of uncertainty.

The past year has put enormous strain on businesses and brought into sharp focus the importance of being agile, adaptable, and able to increase the pace of innovation and change at short notice. As the economy works to get back on its feet, technology solutions such as robotics and automation will be pivotal in enabling this.

But, while technology can bring immense value to businesses, pivoting towards an automation-first model is no simple task. Badly managed digital upgrades are incredibly costly and can cause companies to take two steps back before they’ve even started. That’s why, until now, many large or complex industries have taken a slow and steady approach to automation.

If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught businesses anything, it’s that they need to be poised for abrupt market disruption at any moment – a slow and steady approach to technology cannot continue.

As experts in digital transformation and the responsible adoption of technological innovations, here are Expleo & Trissential’s top three tips for organizations to consider when embarking on a digital transformation of business agility in uncertainty: 

1. Be proactive, not reactive

Getting things right the first time is business-critical when building trust with customers, so when unforeseen challenges do occur, businesses must move quickly to understand the issue and find a solution. Of course, this is easier said than done. So, how can businesses ensure things run smoothly?

Ensuring that a process of automated testing occurs throughout product development helps companies identify issues early on in the process, making these issues simpler, quicker, and less costly to find a solution for. Meaning businesses can increase the speed to market their latest innovation and get ahead of their competitors.

We need mature agile testing approaches to ensure the fast delivery of working solutions. After all, who remembers the runner-up? So, when Covid-19 does become a thing of the past, the innovations that stand the test of time will be those that worked well and could be relied upon since inception, rather than the tools that were simply ‘there’.

This is the reminder that quality assurance and testing should be at the heart of innovation, not an afterthought – retrofitting quality into a system is always a painful and costly exercise.

The purpose of focusing on quality when delivering change is to make sure that the end product works. This is no less critical when the rush to market is accelerated, but it is more challenging.

2. Identify, prioritize, pivot

Suddenly, being able to adapt quickly, maintain infallible levels of security and ensure the quality of service, has become essential. This can only be unlocked through quality-driven, digital transformations.

In today’s economic climate, it makes sense that digitization has been catapulted to the top of the agenda for most businesses. However, to get this right, organizations must first master process maturity. But more than this, having the reassurance of automated testing throughout the product life cycle will enable businesses to pivot quickly and efficiently to any change that comes their way, helping them to bounce back in 2021.

The most important part of a pivot in a new direction is to ensure that you have one foot grounded. In quality terms, this means having a baseline of testing effectiveness and efficiency, and a plan to improve and optimize both opportunities. This will provide the grounding to change direction quickly and adopt new technologies and methodologies with ease.

3. Find strength in numbers

The reality is, businesses know they need to adapt, and they’ve known this for some time. But companies are learning that new technologies cannot be adopted with an old mindset. Companies that really want to see results from digital upgrades need to invest time and money both in upgrading their legacy systems, and upskilling staff, so that they have the tools and the confidence to steer the ship forward at pace.

A factory reset like this is a colossal task for any business to undertake. But rather than accept defeat, businesses need to find the right partners with the right tools. Partners need to understand their pain points and the complexities of managing digital change on a seismic scale. On top of that, they must have experience seeding the ‘fail-fast’ culture of start-ups into large corporations.

Ultimately, if companies don’t accelerate innovation, big brands will risk being usurped by more nimble competitors. These competitors are agile enough to adapt to market needs and consumer demands when the occasion demands them.

Looking to the Future

Companies like Dyson and Formula 1 teams have cemented their place in history, respectively. These companies have made the leap from vacuums and cars to ventilators and oxygen masks. But as we overcome this devastating pandemic, it’s not just the technological elite that has proved its worth.

Nearly all office-based businesses have shown they can act in an agile manner simply by adopting home working so quickly. But, this is only the beginning to proving their business agility in uncertainty. Now, their focus should be on developing their agile capabilities even further, by putting technology and quality at the heart of their operations.

Ivan Ericsson, Head of Quality Assurance, Expleo

This post first appeared on Expleo’s website