Business Agility- a solution to uncertainties amidst the crisis?

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The business world is extremely affected by Covid-19 pandemic. The effects of coronavirus disease are unparalleled worldwide and are severely felt. Apart from the health issues that threaten the worldwide, the disease also interrupts the social and economic stability, causing a huge imbalance by putting the long-term living and wellbeing of the people at risk.

Businesses to adapt themselves to the changing environment are making plans to adopt new strategies keeping in mind the benefits of first-mover advantage e.g. some retailers are launching initiatives that foster their online growth and new applications are developed by tech organizations as a way of adaption to the changing environment. The rapid and unpredictable changes are forcing companies to prepare new IT projects and initiatives or to alter existing ones.

But when introducing or changing the IT initiatives, things don’t always go as planned. When organizations are forced to change, it causes unexpected cost consumption, downtime, etc that ultimately leads to unhappy customers. The panacea to the situation is agility. Only when the organization and the customers adapt very quickly to the changes as well as respond efficiently, can the problem be tackled easily.

Worse still, a change of direction may be a challenge for many organizations, since they are very resistant to change due to the fear of incurring additional costs, delays and having to struggle to make the required improvements and this has been exacerbated by the current crisis. Agility needs businesses to be not only adaptable to changes but also ready to respond, and it is been seen that businesses are starting to incorporate the central principles of being agile into different areas of their business. When businesses resist themselves from being agile, they get affected by man-made as well as a natural crisis like the pandemic. Indeed, businesses are indirectly avoiding disaster recovery (DR) or business continuity.

Some companies don’t plan or expect a sudden change and therefore don’t spend time on DR plans, whereas some companies that have DR plans still fail because of not testing out the plans due to agility in adversity.

Companies that have been successful in accepting the principles of agility amid the pandemic have been able to thrive during this difficult time. xtraCHEF, New York automated accounts payable and cost intelligence platform, is an example of those successful companies that have adopted agility tenets. The company works with the restaurant industry and has changed its operations not only to postpone billing for March and April but also to offer a potential release of its xtraCASH feature that gives consumers access to up to 1% cashback on purchases through vendor rebates, helping their customer base survive the financial crisis so they can continue their relationships.

In a competitive business environment, in which technological, political, and social conditions are continuously changing as well as there’s no end to uncertainties, agility is the only possible solution, and businesses ought to follow the agility tenets.

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