Business Agility in 2021: 6 Trends to Watch
Business agility took on a new meaning in 2020. Companies were navigating circumstances few could have predicted. As the start of 2021 appears to present with more of the same so far, business leaders hoping that changes were temporary will be looking for more permanent solutions to remain competitive.
What is Business Agility?
Business agility is a company’s ability to adapt and respond to internal and external factors to thrive and compete in the marketplace. Companies with a high level of business agility recognize the need to consistently innovate, keep an eye on trends, and equip their employees to respond to challenges in a meaningful way. As a result, companies working to improve their business agility report a happier workforce, more meaningful interactions with customers, and company-wide growth.
With many companies already struggling with their own level of business agility fluency, it’s essential to be ready for expected change and solidify processes where trends are already coming to fruition. Let’s look at six expected business agility trends that companies may need to build capacity to respond to in 2021.
1. Flexible, Responsive Workplaces
Remote work became the norm for many businesses in 2020, with many employees not expecting to return to the office anytime soon. The coming year will find that many employees have developed a preference for working from home, and companies will likely be on board with those preferences.
Companies finding that full-time remote work is not sustainable will continue looking into hybrid solutions for the coming year, with employees spending time both working from home and at the office. The burden is then on companies to develop the appropriate technologies and processes to allow for flexible workplaces to continue, perhaps indefinitely.
The unique needs of remote and hybrid workplaces could lead to more flexible hiring practices, as companies seeking a more competitive business process will need to diversify their workforce’s skillsets.
2. Rapid Solutions
The speed with which companies have responded to challenges during the pandemic has been critical to their success. Teams seeking ways to respond to changes in their company landscapes won’t go away. Finding dynamic solutions will remain vital to their overall prosperity.
Improving responsiveness company-wide may require businesses to do a deep dive into processes that are no longer relevant or outdated in favor of solutions that will support long-term growth in the current environment. Responding to changing demands is made more efficient in a culture that keeps up with industry innovations and data-driven problem-solving.
3. Real-Time Tech Solutions & Analytics
Flexibility and real-time problem solving are already expected from a company’s IT services.
Alongside the increase in remote work, businesses have had to develop reasonable tech solutions to questions around business security and virtual tools for processes typically done in the office.
Investments in technology are not only a trend for companies to weather the pandemic and improve remote processes, though. Tech competency is a crucial component of business agility.
Improving the tech processes at a company is also about getting rid of technologies that are either redundant or outdated, with regular audits meant to increase efficiency and automate processes wherever possible. The coming year will see tech improvements that allow for a higher level of personalized customer engagement, particularly when customers may be feeling weary, and real-time data analytics to frame how businesses react to rapid changes.
4. Simplified Processes and Operations
With companies looking to do more with less in the current environment, identifying inefficiencies within a business will remain an essential tool around ensuring time is spent strategically and toward stated goals. Companies will continue seeking ways to simplify existing processes and operations, finding ways to do more in-house with the right systems and supports in place. The importance of finding ways to do business more efficiently will always be on-trend.
5. Employee-Centered Approaches
As companies adapted to a “new normal” over the last year, employee stress became a critical point of concern for businesses looking to maintain a high engagement and productivity level. Studies showed that companies that could offer a more human approach to employee concerns boasted a higher level of satisfaction among their employees, leading to more buy-in for employees into a company’s long-term goals.
With 2021 underway and companies working through the same obstacles, maintaining a high morale level among employees will remain a vital tool in viability. Employees want to feel safe, with policies in place that not only respond to the current crisis but prioritize their health and welfare in the long-term.
6. Personalized Customer Experiences
People-centered approaches will also apply to a company’s customer base in the coming year. As consumer behaviors and models for reaching customers changed in 2020, companies need to seek ways to engage with those customers in new, innovative ways. Companies will seek more permanent adjustments to services with digital solutions when in-person interactions are not possible.
It’s not only employees seeking a sense of security in the coming year. Companies that ensure customers feel a sense of security in working with them, keeping on top of changing privacy and regulatory concerns where relevant, will be more successful. There are ways to meet customer expectations successfully, even in challenging environments.
Take Steps to Improve Your Processes
If you’re looking for support around navigating a rapidly-changing business environment and optimizing your company with business agility in mind, explore our tools in the customized software and application solutions space. For over 22 years, the experts at Trinity have worked to improve business processes in tangible ways.