A comprehensive study of how Nordic companies responded to Agility and our recommendation to embrace it.
Get a quick understanding of the main findings of our research
|Culture & People|
An agile culture decides quickly, fails fast, and learns constantly. Companies need to think more like opportunistic venture capital companies, with the ability to spot and seize on new ideas. Rapid prototyping and piloting need to be supported with the ability to quickly back winners, rather than wait for allocated budgets to
Webscale companies like Google and Amazon run hundreds of pilots simultaneously, and their entire organizations are tuned to recognize the next sources of growth from these projects. Adopting such a culture will not be easy; however, it's one of the cornerstones for the agile organization.
Sixty-nine percent of Nordic organizations perceive culture and people as a development area, in contrast to only 27 percent stating it's a stronghold. For most, the future requires a very different culture from today's which offers "jobs for life" and rewards seniority as often as talent and expertise.
Nordic organizations see Culture & People slightly more as a stronghold than other pillars of agility researched.
|Platform & Capabilities|
Becoming digital means operating IT at dual speed. IT operations that have traditionally supported the slower speed of enterprise development now need to be augmented with fast, responsive and agile "second speed" IT for ramping up new, digital capabilities and offerings. Many Nordic organizations are already implementing such a dual-speed approach in their IT, and nearly all the rest have a strong interest in doing so.
Automation and AI are also becoming increasingly critical to support the agile business. The workforce can be freed from repetitive tasks with robotic process automation that can be put to work on top of any existing enterprise tool. Machine learning and AI can help businesses get more from their data and support customers and employees with more intuitive and engaging experiences. Going forward, humans need to focus only on activities that cannot be automated.
Most Nordic companies need a step change in Platforms & Capabilities
Digital is breaking down the borders of the traditional business. The ability to partner and collaborate in emerging digital ecosystems is now essential.
Organizations no longer need to own processes or functions, but they do need to decide what to do internally and where to partner. How much of their business can they open up to others in order to discover new value and enhance the customer experience? What are your real core capabilities which you necessarily want to own?
Even though 69 percent of respondents name ecosystem & co-creation as a development area, 63 percent say they have already co-operated with start-ups, which is a surprisingly high number. Across industries, the key reasons for co-operation focus on entering new offerings or innovation or speeding up the offering development.
Ecosystem & co-creation is a large development area, even though many have trialed co-operation with startups
|Data & Analytics|
The ability to leverage data and insights effectively is the key underlying capability—and it's by some margin the area in which companies say they need to develop the most. While all the researched organizations already do some analytics, they are yet to seize its real potential.
Analytics is a critical capability to provide agility regardless of industry. Bringing data deep into the optimization of operations and decision-making is one aspect. Building offerings is another. And using data and analytics to improve the customer experience can provide significant competitive advantage which may organizations are now trying to seize.
Eighty-five percent identify analytics as an area for improvement, with only 13 percent claiming it as a stronghold. Communications companies tend to see themselves as more developed as do public sector respondents.
Leveraging data & insights for customer experience development is similarly a huge gap for Nordic companies
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RYAN SHANKS is the client director at The Dock, Accenture’s Centre for Innovation—a living, breathing innovation hub, acting as an accelerator for Accenture and its clients to unlock value. The Dock researches, incubates, prototypes and pilots new technologies with pioneering clients across multiple industries and sectors. Ryan’s experience ranges from innovation to corporate operating model design to digital culture change and leadership development.
PHIL BALAGTAS is the global design director for General Electric Aviation Digital Solutions, working with airlines to use big data and analytics to improve operational & fuel efficiency. An educator and futurist, he also organizes and leads design skill programs and is founder of Speculative Futures and the Primer Conference in San Francisco, which focuses on cultural and social impact of design for the future.
JOAKIM PERCIVAL is managing director within Accenture Strategy and responsible for the Industrial & Travel segment in the Nordics. He helps traditional industrial clients transforming into solutions providers—delivering outcomes in digital and ecosystem set-ups. Joakim has been deeply involved in the Nordic research, exploring the state of agility with Nordic companies, and is the co-author of the research paper “From Fragile to Agile. Fast”.