West Monroe Partners Survey Finds Business Agility Is A Top Priority But Lacks Executive Ownership

Nearly two-thirds of organizations consider the ability to adapt quickly a top strategic priority. However, few have developed mature capabilities, and no corporate role has emerged as primary owner of the initiative. These are among the key findings from survey results released today by West Monroe Partners, a national business and technology consultancy.

The survey, conducted with members of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), assessed the current state of business agility and the role customer experience leaders and practitioners play in existing efforts. The research paper, “Adapt or Fail: The New Business Imperative,” is available for free download.

A focus on increased adaptability stems from its perceived impact on competitive advantage in an evolving digital, consumer-driven marketplace. Faster time to market (52 percent) and increased innovation (47 percent) are the most anticipated benefits of business agility, and 71 percent of survey participants expect greater agility to translate into improved customer experience.

“Customer behavior is changing as fast as digital capabilities evolve, and firms that respond too slowly or are too vested in existing business models find themselves eclipsed by newcomers or big technology outsiders,” said Paul Hagen, senior principal and West Monroe’s leader for customer experience and innovation strategy. “On the other hand, companies that quickly evolve their capabilities to drive new value to customers can create an ‘adaptive advantage.’ To do so, they need deep understanding of the issues customers are trying to solve or, better yet, the ability to foresee future issues and help customers in areas they don’t even know they need help.”

Among the survey’s top findings:

  • Despite the compelling benefits, “ownership” for agility efforts remains widely dispersed among corporate roles. Top contenders include the chief executive officer, chief operating officer, and customer experience leader, but no single role exceeds 28 percent. For almost a quarter – 23 percent – of organizations, no one is in charge of efforts to improve adaptability.
  • Agility efforts are mostly new, with 57 percent of survey participants classifying their organizations as…

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