World of Business
By Dr B K Mukhopadhyay
Are we not now living in a chaotic transition period to a new age defined by global competition, rampant change, faster flow of information and communication, increasing business complexity, and pervasive globalization?.Jet speeded changes in competition, technology, and workforce values are compelling organizations to search for new and more human ways of increasing productivity and competitiveness? The pace of change has become so rapid that it took a different type of firms to be domint and marked entirely new era of business. This new environment is also characterized by more far-reaching technological advances, and a consumer who has adjusted to this quicker pace and whose fickle preferences are revised with the speed of a television commercial.
The resultant force
Business world has been facing ever increasing complexities - business space, technologies, processes, business models as well have turned out to be more complex - new characteristics are added frequently [subtracted infrequently]. The dimensions of business space keep increasing, adding complexity, while at the same time furnishing attractive new opportunities for those who can successfully vigate in the new environment. This complexity, in turn, also inhibits greater size and greater value creation.
Little did we think that the airlines could compete with the railways, the then sanctioned housing loans turning to be a giant sub-prime crisis and great recession would be visiting the biggies at a time when mankind wishes to look at the other plants to find out the existence of the counterpart….
Side by side, in the emerging era of over communication and hyper-competition, people are overwhelmed by choice – choice of information, ideas, products, and services. Information is becoming readily available around the globe at an unprecedented pace. Customers, competitors, and innovators have instant access to each other. The result - technological change, especially change in information and communication technology, delivered the Information Age and converted it to the Knowledge Age.
The biggest changes have been due to the impact of information and communication technology. The ability to access vast information resources within a matter of minutes and to communicate across huge distances at ever lower costs and improving quality and convenience is transforming the way people and companies interact. Virtually, it is becoming harder to achieve market leadership and to stay on top.
World trade economy is growing at more than five times the rate of world gross domestic product. But the stern reality is that the ongoing business scerio has been turning to be more complex than ever before. Competition is now based more on capabilities than assets. New competitive dymics have led to greater instability in the profitability of companies. One technology is being speedily replaced by the other and new products, services, and competitors are emerging with blinding speed. Competitive pressure has been intensifying.
We go out, Time stays
The time has arrived when we note that even the best of professiols need a team of effective information magers for ensuring an optimal productivity, an effective system of interl control skills to provide inputs to quicken the process of decision making. An attitudil change is a must in such a context as the ture of business has been becoming more and more complex. Today’s business means, clearly, becoming an intertiol player as nothing of such kind could succeed if the same remains restricted to a frog in the well form. It is something like accepting that ‘the ship looks good when parked at the harbour but the same is not meant for remaining so. Business without risk is virtually preparing omelet without breaking the egg.
In fact, globalization led to more companies pursuing the same customers while at the same time, customers have become more sophisticated and informed buyers and information technology ebling them to find and alyze competing products so as to make the ultimate intelligent choices. No doubt, customers discovered they had options and the power to exploit them and accordingly customers now aggressively seek altertives, compare offers, and hold out for the best option. Further, many products became virtual commodities and rapid changes in technology have dramatically shortened product life cycles.
That is why: enterprise capabilities are the crucial factors for the ultimate achievement – leadership [executives who support the creation of processes]; culture [values of customer focus, teamwork, persol accountability and of course the very willingness to change]; expertise [skills in / methodology for, process design]; and governce [the very mechanisms for maging complex projects and change initiatives]. For developing high performance processes, institutions need to offer the very supportive environments.
Quick adaptation: A compulsion
In the words of Professor C K Prahalad and Gary Hamel: ‘in today’s corporate world wining in a business is not about being number one, rather it is about who ‘gets to the future first’. They urged the companies to create their own futures, envision new markets and reinvent themselves. It is the idea of core competency that actually boosted the BPO and allowed companies handover the non-core side related to their business operations to others who are willing and can. It is, thus, better to concentrate on the core competency areas where the performance could be bettered - temporally, functiolly, hierarchically and sectorally in the broader sense.
Boosting of service quality, keeping in view the very ture of effective demand, is the crying need. The challenge is not only to acquire the customer, but also to retain him in the business for furthering the process of improved customer value.
In fact, it is very difficult to locate an area where there does not exist competition. Rather the reality is just the opposite – intense and rising competition. Especially, in the are of intertiol business the same is assuming complex character day by day. Thanks to fast changing technology.
May be one particular strategy becomes outdated or calls for supplements not necessarily by discarding the older one. This renovation is thus a continuous process. The redesigning of existing processes can effectively lead to dramatic enhancements in performance that ebles the organization to deliver greater value to customers in ways that also generate higher profits to the stakeholders. So, focusing on, measuring and redesigning the customer-facing and interl processes improvements could be there in areas like: cost, quality, speed, profitability and other key areas. Arranging for such change –over calls for more than rearranging work-flows – that does what tasks, in what locations, as well as in what sequence.
It is that greater competent Institutions that emerge as the victor; while others struggle to keep the heads over water. Undoubtedly, it is the strategic innovation and not calendar-driven-ritual that could remain the main source of advantage in the days to come. And it is creativity, passion and, of course initiatives that help keep one stay afloat. It is company’s ability and willingness to happen fundamental changes that help transform day to day functions. Tomorrow is just another day – an unpredictable one – where expectations may or may not exceed results. Facing the reality and risk-conscious approach is the best way to march ahead. An overnight success is a myth than a reality.
So, welcome tomorrow! Let today’s growth era produce huge discontinuities, create new industries succeeding old ones, and accelerating the highly desirable global economic growth in the process. Let the ideas, technologies, and capital to satisfy new needs, flow freely, emerging economies industrializing, everyone joining the digital revolution of boundless information and seamless electronic commerce, expectations rise everywhere and human creativity flowering in every field - as rightly and nicely described by Ram Charan and Noel. M. Tichy [“Every Business is a Growth Business”],
Dr Mukhopadhyay, a noted Magement Economist and an Intertiol Commentator on Business and Economic Affairs, can be located at email@example.com