It’s Time to Run Simple
Unlock Innovation for Future Success
Business simplification is a strategic imperative for today’s companies if they wish to unlock innovation and position themselves for future success in an increasingly complex world. Yet, many corporations are not aligning their actions more effectively with their stated goals of simplifying business processes, decision-making and IT functions — and as such risk falling behind nimbler competitors, according to the “Simplifying the Future of Work Study,” a survey conducted by Knowledge@Wharton and SAP.
Change to Run Simple, Always
One reason is because businesses typically do not act until something goes wrong or they face an immediate and tangible reason to prompt a change. “It’s natural to always look at what’s broken or which business processes can be enhanced,” Broady said. “When things are working, we leave it alone.” Moreover, most employees are too busy “fighting fires as well as doing their daily routines” to pay meaningful attention to business simplification.
The Pace of Change
Many companies have looked at business simplification, however, the problem is that they are unable to act fast enough to keep up with the pace of change. “Companies are investing in and applying simplification methods, but the rate of change is outpacing their ability to keep up,” said Mary Haskins, vice president of leadership experience at SAP.
Complexity is Costly
Business complexity is costly because it will use up more resources than necessary to achieve the company’s goals — capital that could be diverted more efficiently elsewhere. Complexity also slows down processes due to bureaucracy and red tape. Such tie-ups often frustrate clients, vendors and partners, who could choose to do business elsewhere. If accomplishing a goal within the company becomes too difficult, it could lead to a brain drain of top-performing talent. In the survey, an average 74% of respondents said complexity in business processes and decision-making has strongly inhibited their companies’ ability to meet goals. Only 5% believed complexity had no impact.
Technology Can Help
Technology can help in business simplification. For example, it lets companies cut down complexity by providing the right data at the right time about the right person so they can better target a market. Technology can also do such things as automate the process of applying the laws of different countries on various business processes, such as payroll, according to Haskins. “Technology can significantly simplify that process and manage it for you.”
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