An Introduction to Digital Adaptation


The quest to embrace digital or “transform” has progressed from being an abstract concept to becoming a mandatory strategy. Some companies are moving quicker and more successfully than others. New businesses that are born “digital” may not have the luxury of an existing revenue stream, but they also do not suffer from commercial, cultural, and technical baggage. Established companies on the other hand are having to adapt existing processes and practices to defend or advance their existing revenue streams. According to Gartner, “two-thirds of all business leaders believe that their companies must pick up the pace of digitalization to remain competitive.” Essentially these lagging companies must move beyond the concept of digital transformation to the practice of continuous adaptation. Legacy businesses have legacy practices and systems that present different challenges than those faced by start-ups companies. It is with these businesses where adaptation is critical. Customers are more demanding, their experiences both good and bad are broadcast to the world, and competition appears from unexpected places. Entire industries are living in a constant state of change and the skilled resources to help sherpa companies through the process are scarce, meaning adaptation must become a way of life and that innovative behavior is now table stakes.

So what exactly is digital adaptation? We define it as the ability to predict, or perceive, quickly evolving business needs, and adjust through new combinations of technology, process and workforce management. As digital reconfigures the business, it drives the need for new and adaptive approaches. It requires the use of new technologies; a willingness to adopt less familiar methods and the utilization of innovative workforce models. The goal is to create faster, more flexible solutions that simultaneously exceed user and consumer expectations while keeping competitors on their heels.

So, how does the technology leadership achieve the speed required in software development to satisfy the evolving needs of the business? How do you adapt to the new dynamics of the labor market, appreciating the value of talent, while balancing “keeping the lights on” and innovation budgets? And, how do you couple the traditional style of workforce management with innovative labor engagements that reflect the desires of the new labor force and the dynamics of the digital world? These questions must be addressed with an open and adaptive mindset and an understanding of the four components that make up digital adaptation. Learn more in our next blog or download our digital adaptation white paper.


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