Silos of information, content, people and processes are pervasive across most businesses. In the digital age, businesses require the exact opposite – greater transparency and connectivity across resources to deliver improved focus, and agility in order to respond more quickly to the changes that digitization brings. Organizations that reduce silos and create greater transparency will be better suited to drive success in a digital world.
We refer to organizations that successfully balance these interests with the right technology as "liquid enterprises." They will emerge as winners in the next era of digitization, since they will be highly responsive and able to keep themselves ahead of market changes and their competition. Creating a liquid enterprise embraces agile principles to empower a more nimble culture that can seize new opportunities.
Technlogy enhances efficiency
New integration and automation technologies are allowing individuals and teams – those closest to and often directly responsible for business outcomes – to execute locally via communities and networks of affinity, whereas traditionally it has often been centralized teams of process or project specialists or divisional leaders. Decentralized ownership allows information, people and data to be lifted much more quickly and purposefully out of their silos into new, flexible, bite-sized and automated work constructs. With this, the overall speed of work execution increases, and the design of work becomes more flexible and contextually intelligent.
These trends are ushering in an era of WorkOps – the integration of connectivity, workflow automation, collaboration, productivity automation and reporting across the lifecycle of work and across different business systems, allowing organizations to craft outcomes not bound by the limitations of those systems, which has traditionally been the case. WorkOps satisfies the traditionally unserved impulse for people to work the way they intuitively think is best.
"Productivity automation," as we call it, is what gets organizations moving as efficiently as possible. Productivity automation is becoming increasingly attractive as businesses look to more effectively empower their employees, execute work and reduce the amount of fragmented, unstructured and manual types of work that are still most prevalent within businesses. This allows businesses to rethink existing structured workflows based on homegrown tools or legacy business systems that can’t deliver the cross-system connectivity, automation and scale needed.
This gives the average worker capabilities that haven’t typically been available, part of an important shift across workforce technologies to decentralized ownership over high-impact work. This leverages improved connectivity, agility and visibility across different workstreams. This shift is much needed as the current digital age has given rise to new customer and employee expectations and market requirements that, with the right workflow integration and productivity automation tools, businesses can respond to much more effectively.
The key to future success
As collaboration, intelligence, automation and reporting become intertwined and embedded across the work lifecycle rather than existing as separate siloed capabilities in pure-play tools, new productivity automation practices will allow businesses to constantly refresh their workstreams, more flexibly manage resources and generate feedback loops. Over time, businesses will intelligently model workstreams allowing them to continuously execute in a truly liquid way, giving them the kind of responsiveness needed to succeed in the digital age. Those businesses adopting tools to work toward that outcome will gain competitive advantage in the future of work.