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Strategic adaptability: Predicting the unpredictable

Susan Bowen

August 29, 2019

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When Darwin coined the phrase “survival of the fittest”, it did not mean the strongest or the most intelligent survives. Rather, it meant those most capable of adapting to change will ultimately succeed in the end.

The current economic, political and social environment we now operate in is exceptionally complex and unpredictable. To confront the rapidly evolving landscape, it’s become ever more important that businesses adapt in order to not only thrive but to survive. Disruption isn’t a new concept, but the speed, complexity and global nature of today’s disruption is at a scale we have yet to experience.

Over the past few decades, technological change has bought remarkable opportunities for innovative businesses, but it is also driving extinction to those less capable of change.

Keeping up with the pace of change is crucial to strengthening a business’ position in an increasingly competitive market. This calls for an increased focus on developing and establishing traits of agility, flexibility and adaptability into all levels of the workforce, spanning from the boardroom, through to a business’ critical IT infrastructure.

The only constant thing in business is change

With the right business capabilities in place, the unpredictability of the market can actually become a competitive advantage. In fact, strategic adaptability must be a top priority for business leaders globally. Whilst many organizations do a sufficient job planning how to operate when things work out as expected, it’s those that plan for flexibility in response to the unexpected that will succeed in the long term.

Adaptability requires involvement from every level of the organization. As businesses look to grow and expand, the people and processes within an organization are equally as important as the technologies driving this transformation. Business leaders need fresh perspectives and new ways of thinking to truly harness the power of adaptability, “it’s how we’ve always done it” will no longer cut it. It’s crucial to build a company culture where constant change is accepted and embraced. Only when this mindset is achieved can businesses truly begin to prepare for whatever is thrown their way.

Adaptability: maximizing business potential

The business benefits of adaptability are numerous, and we’ve seen first-hand how this equates to great business success. From my own experience, there are two main areas in which adaptability enables the greatest results:

  • Act on change – Those businesses that succeed are able to read and act on signals of change, they calculate how to experiment frequently, economically and in quick succession. This is not only with the products and services they offer to their customers, but also with business models, strategies and processes. In this competitive market, it’s important for businesses to leverage their signal-reading capabilities to improve operations and make quick, efficient decisions that will best impact the business and its customers today, and over the years to come.
  • Smart Partnering – Businesses that recognize that outsourcing solutions to an experienced provider allows them to have a greater focus on their business objectives, rather than being bogged down by IT processes and requirements. Going it alone in today’s unpredictable world can be tough for even the most resilient companies. Businesses that seek support and guidance from technology partners will be better informed and able to adapt more efficiently to the needs of the business and the changing environment without causing disruption to daily operations. 

 

At Aptum, we are committed to helping our customers navigate during periods of uncertainty and change. We help businesses unlock the potential of their data by providing a robust infrastructure that enables customers to solve complex challenges and maximize the potential of their businesses. In an environment where the rules and signposts of success are constantly changing, the long-standing winners aren’t those who simply make it to the next round, but the ones who continually adapt to the ever-changing environment.


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