Reimagining organizations in times of crisis

Even before the advent of COVID-19, disruption proved a constant threat to most businesses. In fact, Accenture research shows most executives feel the pace of disruption has increased over the past three years. And a full 93 percent say their company’s very existence is jeopardized by operating models that can’t keep pace.

With the COVID-19 crisis, we know that this is no ordinary economic downturn: fundamental changes in consumer behavior, supply chains, and routes to market are knocking companies off balance. While some shifts are temporary, other things will never be the same: The new normal will be “never normal”. Leaders need to accelerate the adoption of agile ways of working and value chain transformation to help outmaneuver uncertainty and outperform those less prepared. The right actions NOW can position those companies to succeed NEXT and adapt in the NEVER NORMAL.

Becoming an Intelligent Enterprise means shifting from top-down decision-making. Empowering teams guided by purpose. Driven by data and powered by technology. Enabled by cloud for faster speed to market. It calls for razing rigid structures that emphasize territory and control. And creating a porous organization with modules that plug and play. The Intelligent Enterprise is capable of dynamic self-management and continual adaptation. It is built for agility, resiliency and growth.


of businesses feel the pace of disruption has increased over the past three years.


of companies say their very existence is jeopardized by operating models that can’t keep pace.


of executives cite slow decision-making as a barrier to agility.

Responding to the Now

Responding to the pandemic has underscored what work is critical. And what work may be cut. It has tested conventional wisdom about the need for physical proximity to customers, products and management. All this while a massive amount of labor has moved to virtual modes.

There’s no doubt: Companies equipped with more agile operating models are flexing agile muscles they built-up over the past years.

Some of the capabilities critical to withstand the crisis include:

  • Robust business continuity plans for end-to-end value chains, including crisis command centers
  • Expansive scenario planning and swift response
  • Well-structured ecosystems and networks with partners, competitors and academic institutions
  • Advanced technologies, cloud-based systems and collaboration tools to enable an elastic digital workplace
  • Empowered business leaders and simplified governance structures that enable speed and agility

Executives believe that ecosystem participation allows businesses to: 63% Innovate, 58% increase revenue growth, 55% assess new markets, 55% access new customers

Evaluate your partners and lean into your ecosystem for rapid insight and innovation

Building agile value chains

Now is the time to develop and execute an agile supply chain strategy that can steer the business through today and tomorrow. An agile supply chain accelerates demand-sensing intelligence, localization and product flow optimization as "shape of chain" begins to reflect current fluid offerings and fulfillment experiences. It incorporates business continuity planning by diversifying across supply chain and distribution channels, modes of transportation, and ecosystem and alliance partners.

For other parts of the value chain, including marketing, sales, and support functions, organizations should be agile in responding to the evolving realities of running the business. There is also an opportunity to better integrate sales and operations, demand and supply planning powered by predictive and prescriptive analytics and a team empowered to bring critical business insights forward. Leveraging enterprise analytics platforms to make insights more readily available within the organization. This is a capability urgently required. One that will remain just as critical to what’s needed next. We call it, "sensors at the edges."

Experimenting for the Next

As we operate in the Next and prepare for the Never Normal, most organizations are rapidly designing processes to improve efficiencies. They’re relying on resources located physically further away from products, customers and business leaders. Increasingly, they’re depending on ecosystem partners that are better prepared to operate in a remote or virtual environment.

Crisis command centers need to evolve:

  • Monitoring productivity by running process mining and other business process management tools as employees perform daily work tasks
  • Providing digital tools and trainings to improve employee experiences, promote collaboration, and enable rapid reskilling
  • Redistributing workloads across the ecosystem based on better matching work volumes with the competencies and capacity across the global network

Industry players are already experimenting:

  • Challenging myths and ways of working that inhibit speed
  • Sustaining flexible working to become a more human, liquid enterprise
  • Developing dynamic sensing capabilities, combining forecasting, decision support, and analytics
  • Building new partnerships to drive innovation
  • Leveraging analytics to manage integrated demand and supply and overall productivity

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We’re here to help

The measures companies are putting in place to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic are accelerating the adoption of Intelligent Enterprise trends. Companies need to consider more than just the urgent needs of the NOW—they should accelerate the building of an Intelligent Enterprise for the NEXT and to outmaneuver uncertainty in the new normal or, more accurately, the NEVER NORMAL. We can help you.

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