The unprecedented global events of 2020 have moved next-stage digital transformation strategies to the top of business agendas. Although many enterprise, commercial and educational organizations have long been working on plans to shift to a hybrid or agile workforce models, those have now been thrust into hyperdrive. With that, the agile ecosystem has taken on an entirely new meaning – and urgency.
As we emerge from stage one of the pandemic, which was more of a ‘let’s get remote work models done in record time’ approach, organizations of all sizes and types now need to set their sights on planning, building and preparing their workforce for what’s next. The next stage will require an unprecedented level of agility and flexibility that allows seamless transitions between remote and on-site work activities that can shift and/or be executed on a dime.
This new “Agility++” will require integrating a mix of technologies, from cloud-based services and networking infrastructures, to interactive AV technology and large-scale deployment of videoconferencing and collaboration tools. It will also require an adjustment in strategies to support new and evolving software and apps, remote and in-conference room digital displays, and devices that address the needs of the new hybrid mobile and remote workplace reality.
The pandemic has leapfrogged five years of digital transformation planning cycles into one, forcing us all to adapt technology solutions more quickly to customer needs, and in ways we never expected. Yes, most of us have managed to get workers up and running productively, supporting teams and customers wherever they are. Now the question is, how do we support people in this hybrid environment over the longer term?
The heavy lifting has been done for the most part. The technologies are there; the platforms well established; and the willingness to adapt to remote working models reasonably well entrenched. It’s no longer a question of how to work remotely. Now organizations need to go further into how to create content that engages audiences and employees from a mix of remote and office-based activities.
So, what’s next? First accept the fact that the months and years spent planning a long-term strategy have to accelerate, and quickly. Second, we can no longer afford to rely on predictive data. Rather, we have to think in terms of managing in a very fluid global market that thrives on collaboration in all forms, from education delivery and conferencing to training and sales.
I see a tremendous amount of synergy between companies that are agile and elite athletic teams. During a championship or even within a game itself, well-trained team members and coaches can change their game plan, shore up their weaknesses and play on their strengths the minute they sense a shift in dynamics. They engage in both an offensive a defensive mindset at the same time to ensure they’re never caught off guard.
This level of agility should be applied to everyone within an ecosystem, but they will need to have the right equipment and resources in hand to bring simplicity and speed to the collaboration process and create immersive, engaging, and content-rich experiences. These may include interactive and/or portable display technologies, advanced collaborative software tools, and non-touch technologies such as voice and gesturing user interfaces, among other innovations that enhance human and virtual interaction.
It is abundantly clear to us that this accelerated approach will not end when the crisis of 2020 runs its course. Working together with our partners, we will continue to innovate ensuring that the tools and processes we invest in will continue to play a critical role in enabling the agile workforces of tomorrow.