The modern company is certainly not one-size-fits all. Companies of all types, sizes and in every industry can be modern. (Think only high-tech companies are modern? Check out Biscuits & Bath, a full service dog retreat with a very modern approach to customer service.) But, after talking to a bunch of business leaders who are striving to embrace new ways of working and asking the experts, we’ve found that there are few realities that we all must face. We call these the “Modern Musts.”
The Agile Company
The speed of business has changed. Today’s organizations must have people, processes and technology that help them turn on a dime to keep up with an increasingly erratic and swiftly accelerating and more competitive business landscape. Agility is the ability to recognize and respond to opportunistic market conditions. Agile companies observe what is happing and are able to pounce when conditions are ripe. In the modern economy, agility isn’t a nice-to-have; it’s a condition for survival.
The Always on Company
Even for companies that aren’t technically “open” around the clock, today’s customer-centric, digital culture means that prospects and clients can gather information and initiate communications with your company 24×7. This means that constant information flow and spur-of-the-moment connectivity are becoming more and more important, often making it necessary for managers and staff to be available to share information and address issues whenever they arise. An “always-on” organization is one where team members stay connected beyond the workplace and where decisions are made without regard to office hours.
The Distributed Company
Industry analyst, IDC, predicts that the number of remote workers is poised to reach 1.3 billion people in 2015. That’s more than 37% of the global workforce. This means that your co-workers are as likely to be in the next time zone as they are in the next cubical. In this new business environment, the workplace is not defined by a specific place, but by the worker’s devotion, attentiveness and responsiveness to the responsibility at hand. Managers of the modern workforce must employ a variety of strategies, tools and technologies to get the most from their teams, no matter how far-flung they become.
The Data Driven Company
Perhaps most executives would argue that their choices are motivated by data, rather than emotion, but the modern company knows that this is only true if decisions are driven by data that is timely, trustworthy and relevant. When valid information results in true learning and insight into the health of the business it can stimulate fitting responses to business conditions and accelerate see-and-react cycles. Because the modern company is agile and distributed, information workers are increasingly demanding anywhere-anytime control over the data they need to make decisions that can’t always wait for someone else to run a report.
The Mobile Company
In 2012 industry analyst, Accenture released a survey findings that revealed 67% of IT professionals believed that mobility will influence their business as much as the Internet did. The proliferation of smartphones and tablets has fundamentally changed the way we live, work, socialize and shop. Modern companies find ways to take advantage of the fact that employees, partners and customers have virtually uninterrupted access to the internet. Future success may very well depend on developing strategies to engage with employees and customers at key points in their day or buying cycle on whatever device they prefer.
The Collaborative Company
Effective collaboration joins the right people to the right support, data and knowledge at the right moment to drive the best business decisions. Collaboration isn’t new, of course, but in today’s highly competitive environment, with an increase in specialization and demands for immediate decisions, collaboration isn’t just a business principle, it’s a necessity. The increasing distribution of workers and the popularity of mobile devices challenge effective collaboration, but modern companies take advantage of rapidly evolving technologies designed to bring people and information together in new and exciting ways.
The Social Company
Modern companies recognize that the emergence of social networking represents an opportunity to build deeper connections with customers, employees, partners and everyone that is important to the business. The most forward-thinking companies are using these networks for purposes well beyond advertising and are engaging entire communities in solving problems and identifying the best way forward for their business. The power of Social + Mobile is game changing for organizations that are poised leverage this new goldmine.