By Lisa Cavanagh, Practice Executive

This is the third blog post, in a series of five, about achieving business agility as experienced by a technology business partner. Look for the remaining posts in the coming weeks:

  1. Business Agility: What is it & Why is it Critical to your Business?
  2. Achieving Business Agility: Focus on Value Creation
  3. Achieving Business Agility: The Role of Data
  4. Achieving Business Agility: Modernizing Operations
  5. Achieving Business Agility: Confronting Reality

In my last blog, I discussed the importance of focusing on value creation as the basis for your transformational journey.  Understanding what actually drives value for your business requires a strategic, yet pragmatic approach.  So, how do you inform that approach to ensure that it accounts for the strategic objectives of your organization and the daily operations of your business?   The answer….DATA

Data plays an integral role in the journey to achieving and sustaining business agility.  It informs critical strategic and operational decisions required before and during a transformation as well as decisions to sustain business agility. 

Some of the key questions that data can influence are:

  • What has contributed to the organization’s success?
  • What is driving current revenue?
  • What are the current market trends? 
  • How is/can the business being/be impacted given market trends, including current and future customers?
  • How is the company currently operating as compared to the competition?

As we embarked on our transformation at Micro Strategies, we recognized that data informed our understanding of why we needed to transform. It helped us identify how to prioritize our areas of focus, and continues to inform our ongoing journey.  Our founder and CEO, Anthony Bongiovanni, recognized the role data played in informing our internal operational business decisions around our own initiatives and our external strategic decisions with respect to our customers, partners, and market.

“We view data as competitive currency. It plays a key role in our approach to internal initiatives and when we work with customers we use data to inform business decisions regarding security, analytics, infrastructure, business processes, and business and technology operations,”

~ Anthony Bongiovanni

The Role of Data in Establishing Strategic Objectives 

The previous two blog series (here and here) emphasized the current reality for organizations—they must evolve their business to achieve greater business agility and competitiveness.  If they do not, odds are, they will not survive.  That reality is daunting, but so is the journey to transform. 

As with all significant choices in life, having the appropriate information allows you to better navigate the change.   An organization should be clear on the factors that contributed to their success, the aspects which drive their current success and the market trends that impact their business.  Integrating these data elements provide leadership visibility into:

  • How the organization’s history has shaped its culture and how that might help or hinder its ability to transform and sustain the change.
  • Potential risks to the current organizational pillars given market trends and competitive pressures. 

As you review and integrate the multiple dimensions of the data, you can more confidently establish the organizational objectives that will fuel your growth.  You can also identify the value-driven teams needed to achieve the organizational objectives.  These teams can utilize the data to prioritize and shape their investments. The organization’s and teams’ ability to utilize the data to recognize and work with market and customer opportunities and threats is crucial.

At Micro Strategies, we consistently leverage data within our practice teams to ensure we are effectively evaluating the performance of solutions and their development, and detecting opportunities for new offerings.  It also informs the strategic guidance given to customers as to how our solutions can support them in achieving their objectives, as well as to our strategic partnerships by allowing us to more effectively integrate their technologies and our offerings to better serve our customers.  

The Role of Data in Driving Operational Effectiveness

Establishing your strategic objectives is key to anchoring the transformational journey.  However, the decisions around prioritization and where to focus your efforts cannot be made without taking into consideration how effectively the organization is currently operating. 

Understanding the maturity of your operations in comparison to your competition is also important as it allows you to identify which areas may pose the most challenges during your transformation.  Recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of your organization, teams and employees and subsequently finding a way to work with them is crucial. 

Ultimately, data contextualized as information, and information driving insights will allow you to navigate your organization’s transformation while balancing tolerances for risk, crucial decision making leading to better decisions, as well as where change is needed and at what pace.

At Micro Strategies, we leveraged data to establish our strategic objectives and also invested in understanding the state of our operational maturity.   This data played a critical role in helping us determine how to embark on our journey and we continue to leverage it to guide us as we execute our transformation to achieve greater business agility.

Driving change is never easy, but change is the constant we must all integrate as we navigate the reality of the current market, competitors, customers, and employees.  Your organization’s ability to achieve the agility needed to survive and thrive is rooted in how well you understand the role of data and how you leverage that data in your transformational journey and growth.    

This post is the third blog post in a series of blogs on achieving business agility as presented from a technology business partner’s perspective. Interested in hearing more? Check out the first blog or contact us.

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