What is a future-ready business?
A future-ready business builds operating models that ensure its resilience in the face of continuous disruption. These businesses are agile and responsive and can adapt to the fast-changing and often unpredictable needs of customers, the market and the world around them.
Future-ready businesses can read early warning signs to anticipate and act on change before it happens, and then quickly pivot their strategies and operations to stay ahead of the curve.
A future-ready business is characterized by:
- Innovation. Seeks new ways to improve its products, services and processes, and is not afraid to reinvent itself to remain one step ahead, despite unknowns.
- Human-centered design. Designs solutions that put humans—both customers and employees—at the center of its strategies. Constantly seeks to understand and meet evolving customer needs and preferences for new products, services and experiences.
- Sustainability. Is environmentally and socially responsible and recognizes the importance of long-term sustainability for the planet, humankind and its own success.
- Digital transformation. Leverages digital technologies such as cloud to modernize business operations and customer experience. Operates on a flexible, scalable IT infrastructure that supports speed, agility, flexibility, collaboration and innovation.
- Talent development. Invests in its workforce and the employee experience, providing employees with the upskilling, training, tools and resources they need to thrive in a rapidly changing business landscape.
- Purpose. Inspires employees with a sense of purpose and belonging and nurtures a diverse and inclusive culture.
By embodying these characteristics, a future-ready business can anticipate change and take precise action to meet stakeholder needs, stay ahead of the competition and thrive in the face of uncertainty and disruption.
What are the business benefits of a future-ready business?
Amid continuous change and disruption, it has become vital for businesses to be future-ready. By implementing a future-ready operating model, organizations can adapt to unpredictable and changing business environments to remain relevant and stay ahead of the competition.
The benefits of being a future-ready business include:
- Increased agility. With built-in agility and flexibility, future-ready businesses can ensure resilience and relevance despite changes in the market or customer demands.
- Faster, more intelligent decision making. By using data, machine learning, analytics and automation, future-ready businesses can get an early read on changes ahead and make fast, precise decisions in advance of disruption.
- Enhanced innovation. Businesses that embrace new business models and strategies can continuously innovate and produce better products, services and experiences.
- Improved customer experience. Businesses that focus on meeting the changing needs of their customers deliver better customer experiences and boost loyalty.
- Greater flexibility. By moving to a digital-first infrastructure, businesses are in a better position to try new ideas, collaborate in partner ecosystems and change course quickly when needed.
- Higher employee engagement and retention. Employees working in future-ready businesses feel a sense of purpose within a supportive, inclusive work culture that leads to greater productivity and talent retention.
- Brand trust. By working to lower their carbon footprint and improve the communities in which they operate, future-ready businesses develop a sought-after brand that’s trusted by consumers, investors and other stakeholders.
- Higher efficiency. Embracing new technologies and processes can lead to increased efficiency and productivity, allowing businesses to do more with less.
- Competitive advantage. A future-ready business is better positioned to stay ahead of the competition and take advantage of new opportunities.
Having a future-ready business means being prepared for whatever the future may bring, which can lead to long-term success.