We recognize that when it comes to operations, it’s important to tailor a journey to suit an individual organization’s own path. But it helps to know what to do to accelerate progress—especially when profitability and efficiency are at stake.
Our earlier research identified four levels of operations maturity—stable, efficient, predictive and future-ready—based on our respondents’ assessments of eight characteristics. The research "Fast-track to future-ready performance” showed that a small group of leaders, just 7% of the sample, were future-ready by operating more efficiently and more profitably. But 66% of respondents risked failing to achieve similar outcomes in the next three years.
For simplicity, we’ve grouped the eight characteristics into four levers: Technology, Process, Data and Talent—to better understand how organizations can apply them to improve their position and shift the dial to achieve future-ready performance.
The peak multiplier impact of applying each of the four levers to achieve future-ready operations maturity
We found there are considerable gains to be realized at every stage of any operations journey. For example, there’s a 1.5X improvement in business value generated from data and a 1.5X boost in speed of product and service innovation available for organizations moving from stable or efficient to future-ready levels. And, there’s a 1.8X increase in employee engagement and retention for taking the next step to future-ready.
And when all four levers are applied in an integrated manner, organizations not only double their chances of becoming future-ready, but also gain the potential for a massive 14.2X boost in moving up one maturity level—and we calculate that making that step could see a 1.2X boost in overall profitability.
How to get there
Here’s how moving the different levers can affect organizations’ operational maturity:
- The technology lever includes the role of automation, the adoption of new technology solutions and collaboration between business functions and IT. Organizations that improve their technology capabilities are 1.4X more likely to make the leap from the stable to efficient maturity levels, with the greatest impact at the beginning of the operations maturity journey
- The process lever includes the application of leading practices and benchmarking and the implementation of customer, employee and business partner experience initiatives. Organizations that improve their process capabilities are 2.5X more likely to make the leap from efficient to predictive operations maturity levels—that’s the highest boost of all the different levers at the midpoint maturity levels with data running a close second at 2.4X
- The data lever includes the application of data, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance business performance and stakeholder experiences. Organizations that improve their data capabilities see the biggest impact—4.2X more likely to make the leap from predictive to future-ready and 2.5X from stable to efficient
- The talent lever includes the role of workforce strategies, the use of both human skills and machine capabilities and the ability to use specialized talent or broader talent ecosystems. Organizations that improve their talent capabilities are 1.9X more likely to make the jump from predictive to future-ready maturity. Talent is vital throughout the maturity journey but we have seen how it becomes especially critical in the later stages of operational maturity when making the leap to future-ready performance.
Be future-ready now
Although the journey to future-ready may look different for every organization, based on our in-depth findings and experience, there are a number of steps to consider to progress its operations maturity journey.
Taking into account the four levers, here’s how to move from:
- Stable to Efficient: Develop a governance model and business-IT roadmaps, benchmark processes and outcomes, adopt a data culture and augment humans with machines.
- Efficient to Predictive: Enhance automation, measure and manage experience, apply advanced analytics and develop a talent marketplace for on-demand collaboration.
- Predictive to Future-ready: Implement integrated solutions using automation, analytics and AI, reimagine processes, use diverse data and scale data science and AI and embed specialized talent.