The digital economy is here to stay. And yet, many still view that their firm’s revenue is ‘at risk’ due to the digitalisation trend. Digitalisation has already pushed the status quo beyond its old limits. It has been doing that for decades. Digitalisation will continue to push the status quo, but it will most likely not eradicate it. This is also a truth that must be accepted.
Much has already been written about agility in business management literature. The agile methodology framework was centred on the notion that business complexity would increase rapidly and digitalisation development had to be redesigned to keep up with the pace of change.
When it came to the tech industry, however, digitalisation development was plagued by cost overruns, delays and functionality gaps as a result of back and forth repetition between end-users and IT professionals. The inability to respond to end-users in a timely fashion has been a challenge that the tech industry has grappled with for decades.
Adopting an agile strategy, although entirely necessary in the digital era, could potentially shake many organisations to their core; especially those that have functioned within the status quo and in environments that were relatively stubborn when it came to change.
The truth is that only a small number of firms have made the full transition to the digital economy. The reason is simple: the digital age has both supply and demand side components.
Big data technology helps companies to manage large data volumes as well as integrate data from a variety of sources. On the supply side, however, innovations are producing better and faster data access to more clients regardless of location.
Internet and mobile technology are easing–but have not erased–traditional boundaries that once functioned as barriers to entry. The digital economy is imploring businesses to be open to an agile workforce. This shift, however, requires mindset and behaviour changes in order to react to a rapidly changing external environment.
Rigidity is the antithesis of agility and it is characterised as business processes designed for accuracy, stability and reliability that is supported by a less flexible IT infrastructure. When rigid processes are the norm–as they are in many organisations–these would undoubtedly frustrate end users who require a rapid response to shifting client and business demands.
The digital economy will place more emphasis and importance on high-skill, high-knowledge and high-flexibility when it comes to work as a concept, as a vocation and what it means for how one leads one’s life.
While it is always tempting to seek stability in an ever-changing world, history has shown us that we do not do so at our own peril; but rather, we will lose valuable opportunities and end up fishing in a pond instead of out in the ocean.