Most businesses today understand the importance of the term ‘agile’. Many believe it is the key to digital transformation and competing successfully against digital native companies that disrupted industry after industry.
However, the transformation to an agile organization is not easy – and business leaders are better off not trying to make their entire organization agile all at once.
In this articel we get rid of the fog, examine the impact, reduce the hype, and dispel the myths of agile.
The fact that today’s digital world is radically different from the traditional workplace cannot be emphasized enough. Big changes must be made quickly. Improvements to what exists must be made daily, even hourly in some cases. That requires agile approaches to improving products, services, processes and systems.
But initiatives done in agile ways must be able to tap the expertise of company employees wherever they reside in the office – whether next door or next continent. Expecting agile team participants to work in same room is a quaint and obsolete notion today.
Innovation is what’s driving companies to institute agile approaches
New product and service development teams no longer have years to convert an idea into a marketable offering. In addition, they no longer can rely on market research alone to detect emerging customer needs and wants. They need to empower people on the front lines – in customer service, sales, field service and other customer-facing functions – to scan for new business opportunities.
All this starts with an agile mindset at the top of the organization – from the board of directors on down. Those beliefs can increasingly be found at the top of companies in the retail and financial services industries. These sectors are battling digital natives every day. The most successful of the established retailers and financial services firms are realizing that taking half-measures with agile won’t go far enough.
Organizations undergoing digital transformations must embrace agile. To understand how to proceed down the path, read my article Agile’s Day Has Truly Arrived.
About the author(s)
Krishnan Ramanujam is President and Head of Business & Technology Services at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). He leads Consulting and Services Integration, Cognitive Business Operations, Cloud Platform Services and Digital Transformation Services globally. Krishnan drives forward the vision, direction and go-to-market strategy for TCS’ Services Lines. In addition to fostering the development of new services and solutions, he also guides the complex global transformation initiatives for the world’s leading enterprises.
He also drives growth and profitability for companies by spearheading and leading their evolution to next generation, agile operating models and transforms business functions. Krishnan has successfully positioned TCS as the industry’s leading expert in enterprise transformations by developing and leveraging best-in-class experts and offerings in Consulting, Cloud, IoT, AI, Analytics, Enterprise Applications and Interactive Services.
In addition to helping TCS’ clients transform their businesses, Krishnan is focused on transitioning TCS to be fully agile by 2020 – upskilling and reskilling thousands of employees, building collaborative workspaces, enhancing the management of contracts and partnerships and improving customer service.
Krishnan has been a part of TCS for the past 28 years and has rich experience in business and technology consulting. He has held several key leadership positions such as the global Head of Consulting Enterprise Solutions, Chief Operating Officer of TCS Financial Solutions, Director for the State Bank of India Group Core Banking Program, and head of TCS’s Global e-Commerce & Enterprise Application Integration practice. He also had a brief stint with Tata Internet Services as its Chief Technology Officer.
Krishnan joined TCS in 1991 after completing his Master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Indiana, USA. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Instrumentation and Control Engineering from the Government College of Technology, Coimbatore, India. Krishnan is an excellent speaker and as a thought leader, he speaks in global conferences and actively interacts and shapes opinion among industry analysts.
Krishnan lives in Mumbai, India with his wife and two daughters. An avid reader, he enjoys non-fiction books, music, movies and tennis, and is passionate about promoting education in India’s rural communities.