As enterprises are reimagining the nature of work in light of this dynamic new order, it is more important than ever to upskill & meet the demands of new technologies that will redefine the future. The key to success for a leader and a leapfrogger is to have a future-ready workforce. Find out more!
The COVID-19 pandemic turned technology into an extraordinary catalyst of change. And, leaders who realized this could lead the way, scale their investments in technologies including cloud and AI to refocus on growth, while the rest focused on keeping their businesses afloat.
Our 2019 research on enterprise technology strategies highlights that prior to COVID-19, leaders in enterprise technology were growing revenues at 2x the speed of tech Laggards. However, our research conducted in early 2021 revealed that those who doubled down on their tech investments were now growing 5x faster than laggards. The report further identified a new category of companies—Leapfroggers—who initially struggled in achieving a desired return on their technology investments, are now growing 4x faster than laggards by quickly accelerating their adigital transformation journeys.
As enterprises are reimagining the nature of work in light of this dynamic new order, it is more important than ever to upskill and meet the demands of the new technologies that will redefine the future. The key to success for a leader and a leapfrogger is to have a future-ready workforce.
Steering the way forward
Leapfroggers are the ones to watch. They have outperformed their peers—and even the Leaders in some dimensions.. How? By swiftly mastering the balance between systems strength and increased innovation. During the pandemic, they compressed their digital transformations into a shorter time frame through an aggressive and progressive technology strategy. Even during a time of unprecedented disruption, they turned challenges into business opportunities.
The Leapfroggers demonstrate two key attributes:
● Their enterprise IT exhibits a requisite level of “Systems Strength" giving them sufficient strategic agility and scalability.
● They have a large Flip Size. It means they shifted from operations to innovation-related activity. Usually, we see 30 percent share spent on innovation and 70 percent spent on maintenance and operations. Leapfroggers reverse that split entirely. Through this, they speed up software development cycles, change business processes and build new capabilities.
Three strategic imperatives that define the success of both Leaders and Leapfroggers:
1. Replatform: Building “Systems Strength" by committing to the cloud in a big way. They move to and innovate in the cloud. Our research showed that Leapfroggers outpace others in cloud adoption across nine types of cloud technologies covered by the study.
2. Reframe: Adopting an innovation-led strategy by prioritizing progress and collaborating with ecosystem partners and startups in building new IT systems and platforms. Leapfroggers excel at shifting their mindset and viewing potential downturns as opportunities to innovate with new technology.
3. Reach: Expanding their access to technology across functions, and widening business priorities around employee reskilling, well-being and sustainability. Overall, Leapfroggers target 2.1x more business processes for digital transformation than others.
To emulate the success of Leapfroggers, businesses should start with replatforming to build Systems Strength. Then, reframe by flipping the IT budget on innovation. And finally, use the combinatorial power of systems Strength and Flipping to reach beyond traditional business priorities and create value.
Leading with an innovation mindset
Business leaders who will shift their focus to innovation across the value chain will be well positioned to meet new needs and build new capabilities faster than ever before. Vodafone, for instance, embraced big data, automation and AI to improve productivity and drive business growth, while ensuring new opportunities were created for the next generation of workers. The organization has been focusing on digital training of its employees and instilling a digital-first way of thinking among them.
Building a future-ready workforce
As enterprises are reimagining the nature of work considering this dynamic new order, it is more important than ever to upskill and meet the demand of new technologies that will redefine the future.
We should see tech-enabled innovations that are scaled not just across IT, but across all enterprise processes. This requires innovation designed not just to improve people’s performance, but also their well-being. The result could be radically human systems that help meet the values of customers, partners, our people and the community.
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