Why ‘Agile’ Is the Perfect Recipe for Business

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87% of companies in a poll by BCS The Charted Institute for IT report that the ability to manage changing priorities was among the biggest benefits of jumping wholeheartedly into an agile business model, one that factors in technology and a flexible, modern culture to stay on top of the trends, give competitors a run for their money, and ultimately achieve a healthy bottom line.

Contrary to popular belief, in-person meetings aren’t all that useless (as long as the purpose of the meeting isn’t meeting itself). Data aggregated by Raconteur indicates that 80% of agility adopters have a daily stand-up meeting. This get-together makes communication go full-circle in a collaborative culture, as studies have shown that ‘digital’ cannot and should not replace the spoken word.

Innovation and the benefits thereof

Innovations sought through adopting agile include:

  • making business processes more efficient (56%)
  • collaboration between disparate business processes (35%)
  • improved visibility in workflows (25%)
  • build in compliance and traceability to business processes (22%)

To give you an idea of what type of company choose agile over traditional operations, the organizations most prone to adopt this business strategy are (34% of) those with 250 employees, or more. Next in rank are those with a staff count between 50 and 249 (26%), followed by 1-19 (24%), and 20-59 (18%).

The reported benefits are (in this particular order):

  • faster response to changing market conditions (74%)
  • improved customer satisfaction (%55)
  • higher profits (44%)
  • faster and more efficient organizational changes (38%)
  • improved employee satisfaction (27%)
  • reduced costs (25%)

Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C)

Most, if not all avid fans of agility, opt for Unified Communications solutions and apps that centralize their collaboration efforts and stay within reach for business purposes day in and day out. This, according to a 2015 inquiry by IDC Enterprise that isolated the top three investments that firms are making in this area:

1) web, audio and video conferencing services

2) IP telephony calling and management

3) email, fax and voicemail (including unified messaging)

Organizational agility leads to quick response to strategic opportunities and shorter decision cycles. This also applies to production and review sets. Other characteristics include focus on change management, integrating the customer’s voice, and elimination of organization silos.


No one said it was easy

The biggest challenge reported by those who either attempted and failed or successfully went agile was breaking old habits. 50% admitted it was difficult to do away with old working styles learnt over time. That being said, this fresh approach left many of them wondering why they hadn’t dipped a toe in the Agile Sea earlier. Other negative symptoms included:

(41%) low incentive to embrace the collaborative culture – a problem usually rooted in management, and the lack thereof

(38%) lack of leadership – somewhat reflecting the above consensus

(25%) lack of knowledge of how to collaborate better – easily solvable through some good old fashioned education

(22%) software and tools not currently used to their full potential – again, a leadership/management problem that we’ve covered extensively here on our blog

(22%) geographical separation between teams and individuals – a thing of the past for companies using the proper Unified Communications & Collaboration apps for the cloud.

Data courtesy of IDG, BCS The Chartered Institute for IT, Version One 2015, Gist, the Agile Future Forum and the Project Management Institute (via Raconteur).

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