Plants and animals living in biological ecosystems need to constantly adapt to changes in their environment to survive. Failure of a species to adapt quickly enough will inevitably lead to extinction. This fact is just as true for all businesses. In this article, we explain how ALIGN Ecosystems help businesses continually adapt and thrive in the current digital age.
How MySpace went from apex predator to endangered species
In 2006, MySpace had over 100 million users and overtook Google as the most visited site in the US. New Corp, who purchased MySpace in 2005, set it up as a traditional business where the management was expected to accurately forecast future market demands and develop long term plans to meet the expected need. Meanwhile, Facebook, which had been founded by Harvard University students in 2004, including Mark Zuckerberg, had a completely different approach. Mark Zuckerberg understood that the social media environment is controlled by user experiences and expectations. Therefore, Facebook’s technology was designed to listen to users and to quickly develop the features they wanted. Fast forward to 2019 and MySpace is just surviving on 7.5 million visits per month while Facebook dominates the market with 1.6 billion active daily users.
Increasingly unpredictable business environments
Accurately forecasting market demand is getting increasingly difficult, and unless you are lucky enough to be in charge of a market-dominating organisation, it is near impossible to influence or change the business environment you operate in. Meanwhile, innovative start-ups spring up every day with the potential to disrupt your markets or make your business model obsolete overnight. The possibility for massive changes caused by geopolitical events, ever-increasing user expectations, and global crises also remains high.
How not to survive: repeat what worked last century
Traditional people, process, and technology (PPT) methodologies used by most businesses for organisational design and
transformation were developed in the 1960s and do not cater well for the advanced capabilities of modern technologies. Such business models are rapidly becoming obsolete, with advances in technologies like AI and RPA efficiently replacing many people and process functions. However, most businesses still attempt to implement changes by recreating these archaic practises in modern digital systems. Unsurprisingly, 70% of digital transformation projects fail.
How to survive: embrace continuous change
Businesses that cannot influence or accurately predict their future environments (i.e. most businesses) are left with one core strategy for securing their futures:
Increase the inherent ability of the business to change so that it can adapt quickly to shifts in its environment
However, far too many business leaders see change as a last resort; something that only happens when there is no other choice. This means that most businesses are inept at implementing change simply because they do not practise it enough. Businesses need a simple and robust system that will allow them to build up their change capabilities and experiences effectively, so they are always ready for any surprises their environment throws up.
Introducing ALIGN Ecosystems
We developed ALIGN Ecosystems to help businesses adapt and thrive in changing environments. They are designed to enhance customer and employee interactions and enable businesses to quickly adopt the latest cost-effective cloud, AI, and automation technologies. ALIGN Ecosystems implement digital transformation as an affordable continuous process which evolves to meet the changing needs of businesses. They provide clients with unprecedented levels of flexibility to integrate and automate all modern cloud-based solutions.
Makeup of an ALIGN Ecosystem
Cloud Systems – ALIGN Ecosystems can be built using all types of modern business tools to suit individual client needs, preferences and budgets. Applications include CRM, ERP, Portal, HR and Project Management systems to name a few. There has been an explosion in the availability of high-quality but affordable cloud-based business applications and tools, and ALIGN Ecosystems enables clients to take full advantage of this competitive marketplace.
Journeys – ALIGN Ecosystems are designed to deliver tangible outcomes and benefits. This is achieved by mapping the key touchpoints between your business and its clients and employees early on; the ALIGN ecosystem is built to enhance those interactions. Clients can focus on specific journeys, or perform a full business review to determine which solutions will provide the best cost-benefit ratio.
Processes – ALIGN business processes are lean, non-bureaucratic and aligned to the customer and user journeys. We understand that effective business processes are also outcomes-focused, concise and not too prescriptive. ALIGN processes can be quickly implemented and utilise integration and automation tools to reduce complexity.
Integrations – ALIGN seamlessly integrates business applications and tools so clients can use the applications they are familiar with while enjoying the benefits of using a single system. ALIGN Ecosystems use low-code platforms as standard so clients no longer have to worry about expensive developer costs for system integration.
Automations – ALIGN automates tedious administration, repetitive tasks and common processes; freeing up staff to focus on their core roles and deliver more value to the business. Automation supercharges the productivity of the ALIGN Ecosystem and can be used to guarantee that business and security processes are followed to reduce risk exposure. ALIGN Ecosystems also use automation to improve communication and to ensure that business systems are kept up to date with accurate data.
ALIGN Paperlite – ALIGN Paperlite is a core principle of an ALIGN Ecosystem, which combines Single Source of Truth data and document management system design with paper-saving policies, processes and automations to reduce or eliminate paper use.