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Monday, 30 Jan 2023 | 5 min read

What is business agility?

Two people in a business looking at a project board

Business agility isn’t just the latest buzzword. It’s a long-standing principle that lays the foundation for business success.

In the last decade, we’ve seen a dramatic transformation in the way we do business. From automation and analytics to cloud computing and the internet of things – digital technologies have become the new standard in business efficiency. 

These days, it’s hard to imagine doing business without smartphones. But in September 2012, only 1 in 2 Australians had one. Back then, the NBN rollout was still in its infancy, covering only 4% of its current area. The average internet speed was just over 4mbps – not nearly enough for today’s connectivity needs such as streaming, HD video conferencing, doing business in the cloud, and the sheer amount of devices per internet connection.

Now, imagine what the business environment will be like a decade from now. What kind of technologies and business practices will be the norm? And is your business ready to move forward with the times, or are you still trying to catch up to today? 

What is Business Agility: 

Business agility is an organisation’s ability to quickly adapt to changes and opportunities in the market through innovative solutions. This includes being able to respond to changing customer needs, take advantage of new market opportunities, and overcome challenges. 

History is filled with examples of companies that paid the ultimate price for their lack of agility. 

Nokia went from the largest and most recognisable phone company in the world to a minor player. Why? because they didn’t adapt to smartphone technology. Kodak, once synonymous with photography, was slow to adapt to emerging digital camera technology and subsequently faded into bankruptcy.  

And at the other end of the spectrum, look at some of the biggest companies of today: Apple and Google. They’ve built and fostered agile companies that have enabled them to stay ahead of the curve as the business environment changed. Whilst Nokia dropped the ball on smartphones, Apple and Google, neither of whom had any history of mobile phone production, took advantage of the technology to become leaders in the mobile space. 

Blockbuster and Netflix both built their companies around physical video rental. But as improvements in internet speeds made streaming video possible and practical, Netflix saw an opportunity. They seized on it, and set out to expand their offering with a post-video rental world in mind. Today, Netflix has become the world’s largest streaming platform, reaping the reward of its early adoption. Blockbuster, on the other hand, is by and large confined to the history books. But as the streaming landscape becomes more and more competitive, Netflix needs to keep their finger on the pulse of new technologies and trends. If they don’t, they will go the way of Blockbuster. 

Business Agility at Aussie Broadband

We’re not just talking the talk. At Aussie Broadband, we’ve seen first-hand that a little agility goes a long way when it’s time to grow. As our NBN customer base grew rapidly, we needed to expand to service them. 

But we were still a small business, and conventional wisdom told us we had two options: 

  • Multiplying our capacity by increasing staff and operational expenses. We didn’t have the resources to do that.  

  • Cutting costs by lowering our service standards – not an option for us. It would have gone against one of our core values: “Don’t be ordinary, be awesome”. 

So instead, we thought outside the box and developed a system that automated the nbn ordering process. It meant customers could order an nbn service on our website and get connected without any human intervention. The result? In two years, the percentage of orders needing staff input dropped from 46% to 11%. Thanks to automation, we could grow while maintaining our high service delivery and customer service standards. 

A chart that shows the increase in automated orders as a percentage of total orders from January 2017 to September 2019. An example of how business agility helped Aussie Broadband grow.

What is business agility transformation?

Business agility transformation is the process of creating an organisational structure and culture that allows your business to quickly adapt to changing market conditions and customer needs. 

In essence, business agility transformation is about recognising that the best way to do business today probably won’t be the best way to do it in the future. Therefore, the process of business agility transformation involves equipping your business with the tools, resources and mindset required to achieve business agility and stay ahead of the curve.  

 

What are the business agility principles?

The business agility principles underpin successful business agility, and act as a set of guidelines for organisations to create an agile culture and strategy. 

To implement the business agility principles, you need an agile workforce. An agile workforce is a team that can quickly and effectively adapt to changing circumstances and demands. They are innovative and proactive in responding to changing customer needs, new business opportunities, and challenges that impact their organisation. 

  • 1) Customer focus: The customer is always right, right? That’s a universal truth about business, so it makes sense that customers are an important part of business agility. Agile businesses are constantly engaging with customers so they have a complete picture of what they want from the market at any given time. 

  • 2) Innovation: Business agility demands a willingness to explore new ideas and approaches in order to meet customer needs and stay ahead of the competition. 

  • 3) Speed: It’s one thing to know what your customers want at any given moment, but it’s another to have the speed to give them what they want before their tastes change again.The ability to make decisions and take action quickly means your business can adapt in a timely manner. 

  • 4) Flexibility: When confronted with a challenge, business as usual likely isn’t going to work. The businesses that can adapt to change quickly and effectively are the ones that are flexible with how they operate. 

  • 5) Collaboration: Relationships are important in business. Choosing complimentary business partners keeps you agile as you can quickly “bolt on” their expertise to your offering. 

  • 6) Empowerment: Giving your team the resources and autonomy to make decisions is important for business agility. Your staff should have the power to take any sort of initiative that will improve the customer experience and keep them coming back.

  • 7) Learning: Continuous learning from experiences and from others is important for business agility, as it ensures that your business will continue to improve and stay current.

  • 8) Continuous improvement: Tying all these principles together is continuous improvement - commonly known in the business world by the Japanese term “Kaizen”. Regularly reviewing and improving systems and processes is key to business agility.

Keep your business agile with future-ready connectivity

When it comes to choosing a business nbn plan, a business phone system and a business mobile plan, scalability matters.

As your business grows, your telecommunications will need to grow with it - and fast. From increasing your nbn speed to adding more team members to your phone system, you can’t afford not to be agile. 

At Aussie Broadband, we want to help your business grow. That’s why we built our business telco solutions with scalability in mind, so your business can stay agile and ready for what comes next. 

Aussie Broadband’s  self service apps give your business total control of its agility. The award-winning MyAussie® app lets you make changes to your plans with the touch of a button, whether you need to scale your plans up or down to reflect changes in your business, request support, check your service, or even customise your invoicing. It’s the essential business telco toolkit, available at your fingertips through a handy app.

To discuss a connectivity solution that grows with your business, contact our friendly business support team on 1300 480 905. We’ll gain an understanding of your business and work with you to build the perfect telco plan. 

Written by

Michael Hayman Headshot

Michael Hayman

Content Writer

Michael is Aussie Broadband's marketing copywriter. Michael is responsible for content marketing within Aussie's growing business segment, which includes writing and editing web content, marketing collateral, and business editorial blog art...

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