Over the last few years, businesses have faced extraordinary disruptions, forcing many to alter what they previously considered established and effective business practices in order to meet shifting market, consumer, and employee demands. It required them to let go of their predictable, safe models and lean into the unknown. Though uncomfortable, these businesses learned that agility—the ability to quickly adapt—is both a core business competency and a state of mind.
Being an agile business is fast becoming a requirement for success in uncertain times.
Dissecting An Agile Business
So, what does an agile business do that sets it apart? Following are the top three things an agile business does that rigid, stagnant businesses do not do.
1. Welcomes Change, Pursues Opportunities
The pandemic, supply chain challenges, and labor shortages have clearly shown that unexpected crises can happen at any time and anywhere. Businesses that are uncomfortable with change or are unwilling or unable to shift in response will be left behind. An agile business does not stand still in the midst of hardships. Instead, it forges ahead, embracing a strategic, adaptable, efficient, and collaborative way of working. When changes inevitably arise, agile organizations not only adjust, but they also look for, find, and pursue opportunities.
2. Adopts New Technology
Being open to adopting new technologies and tools, understanding the role they play in innovating for an unknown future, and encouraging a culture that is comfortable using technology are all signs of an agile business.
According to a McKinsey survey, digital adoption took “a quantum leap at both the organizational and industry levels.” Unsurprising considering the fact that the pandemic forced businesses to quickly accommodate a remote workforce. This unexpected requirement supercharged many businesses’ digital transformation plans—many of which included implementing cloud-based business management solutions, such as cloud ERP software, in order to give their employees access to business-wide data from wherever, whenever needed via any browser-enabled device.
In addition to providing critical remote access, implementing cloud ERP solutions provided these businesses with real-time data visibility and increased collaboration, which produces informed decision making.
3. Changes Work Environment to Retain Talent
The “Great Resignation” continues to affect companies’ ability to fill their increasingly open positions. Traditional-minded companies are competing with each other to recruit qualified people from a limited talent pool. In contrast, agile businesses are working hard to retain their existing talent.
Studies show that recruiting and training new employees costs more than it does to retain current employees. But retaining employees requires businesses to reevaluate their work environment. This means offering significant incentives, such as flexible workspaces, the option to work remotely, an engaging culture, a diverse workplace, and a healthy work-life balance.
An agile business is willing—and able—to modify its work environment, thus allowing them to meet the demands of exacting job seekers who are pursuing fulfilling, difference-making careers.
The Business of the Future
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the agile business is the business of the future. Changes, opportunities, and new technologies continue to disrupt the marketplace, and businesses that do not flex or pursue them will ultimately fail.
“Agility is a close cousin to resiliency and adaptability,” a recent Acumatica article notes. “While resiliency and adaptability speak to the resolve to not surrender to circumstances, agility is what makes resolve possible. Agile companies can adapt to changing circumstances quickly and easily.”
Being an agile business requires a willingness to lean into the unknown, letting go of practices that are predictable and safe. It also requires a perceptive mindset, an adaptable working style, and a willingness to embrace the right technology.
To learn how Acumatica supports agility with our modern, innovative, and award-winning cloud ERP solution, contact our experts today.