Why Business Agility Matters Right Now

Organisations have become more globally dispersed and projects and assets have become increasingly complex. Digital disruption and societal, economic and political shifts have combined to create an increasing level of market volatility and business turbulence. In fact, McKinsey suggests that between the 1970s and the 1990s, company-level volatility increased between two and four-fold. And this trend is only set to continue. While this backdrop of turbulence is likely to become a fixture in the business environment, the way in which businesses demonstrate their agility continues to evolve. In 1908 Henry Ford changed the shape of the motor vehicle industry by recognising the need for a more affordable car. As an agile leader, Ford saw the gap in the market – all other cars were selling for thousands of dollars – but proposed one for just $500. He also had the vision to change the fundamental mode of vehicle production in order to act on his foresight and capitalise on this unmet market need. The Ford Model T was born, and alongside it, the dawn of assembly line production which changed the entire manufacturing industry. Just 20 years later in 1927, Ford watched the 15 millionth Model T roll off the production line. Modes of manufacturing have changed significantly since then, accelerating in the past decade. The changes to come will make those of the last 100 years look incremental by comparison. How will you harness enterprise software to keep up?

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