Organizations are continuously evolving social systems that have specific DNA characteristics –similar to us as individuals – that collectively define their culture.
A number of cultural attributes are key to defining an organization’s DNA. “These factors can be external, such as industry trends, competitive dynamics, and customer expectations. Or they can be internal, such as organizational structure, employee reward mechanisms, and business performance management practices. As with other living social systems, there are constant interactions between all these factors, as the organizational system is being adjusted to achieve equilibrium within its external and internal operating environments,” says Sassan Hejazi, Director-in-Charge, Technology Solutions at Kreischer Miller.
Changes and trends in your industry have a direct impact on your organization’s well-being. We interviewed Hejazi for the October issue of Insights from Kreischer Miller about the importance of recognizing such technological trends in a timely manner to ensure you do not lose market share.
What steps can companies take to stay on top of the latest trends in their industry?
To stay competitive in the marketplace, companies should consider the following:
- Are your IT systems updated and well-positioned to take advantage of the latest opportunities in your industry? The term competitive dynamics refers to understanding your competitors and defining your organization’s approach towards existing and potential players in the market. Some organizations aim to leverage innovation to achieve or maintain market leadership while others are more risk averse and content to be a follower.
- Are your information systems providing you with competitive capabilities to introduce new products and services? Customer expectations play a key role in defining the nature of your products and services. Organizations that can anticipate trends and satisfy customer needs in the most effective manner will be able to grow and prosper at higher rates as compared to their peers.
It’s key for your information systems to capture market and customer data and provide ease of analysis. This will enable you to better predict upcoming trends.
Organizational structure and hierarchy define how many managerial layers are involved in the decision-making process and how such decisions are being made. Flatter, more entrepreneurial and less bureaucratic structures tend to make faster and more responsive decisions since managers do not have to go through a chain of command.
How can organizations ensure their systems are optimizing the work process and employee performance?
Providing your managers with an updated view of issues and information such as management dashboards will assist them with making decisions faster and more independently. Reward mechanisms define motivations in making decisions that have a direct impact on the nature of the decisions being made. Organizations that reward experimentation and innovation, and have a culture of accepting failures and lessons learned, enable their managers to take on more risks while others might be more comfortable in maintaining status quo.
Additionally, consider whether your systems are providing capabilities to
managers who would like to experiment with new ideas but need the IT support mechanisms in place to help them succeed. Business performance management practices apply to the use of automation to achieve efficiencies, resulting in eliminating non-value activities while increasing productivity and quality levels. Organizations that are performance-oriented leverage self-service and hyper automation concepts to achieve operational consistencies.
It’s important to make sure your IT systems are up-to-date and leveraging emerging technologies such as robotic process automation and artificial intelligence capabilities to achieve process efficiencies. Given the increased acceleration of changes taking place across industries coupled with a new wave of IT innovations and capabilities becoming available to middle market organizations, it is a good time to take a step back and evaluate your organization’s IT DNA characteristics to see what strategic changes could be made to position you for maximum success.
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