Grant Thornton recently surveyed over 1,000 senior business leaders across banking, manufacturing and information technology about their plans to reignite growth in a low growth economy. Our survey looked at how organizations and their teams are preparing to thrive and grow over the coming years through strategic growth initiatives, tech-enabled transformation and the strategic management of risk and reward.
Based on our survey results we found that in order to accelerate growth and manage disruptions such as new technology and political uncertainty, organizations are preparing to make bold choices across five critical pillars of value:
1) A customer-centric growth strategy
The number one value creation goal for the organizations surveyed is to build stronger customer relationships. In a low growth economy this means offering bold and innovative products or services that help customers expand internationally and /or move into new sectors. Advanced data analytics is the key to better understanding changing customer needs to inform the creation of new and intuitive solutions.
2) Tech-enabled agility and efficiency
Cost reduction is the number one transformation priority for organizations surveyed. In the past, businesses looked to consolidate and streamline their manpower via shared service centers or organizational restructures to cut overhead costs. These days customers are more likely to enlist the help of Siri or Alexa rather than engage with a real life operator. Accordingly, businesses see automated processes such as those aided by machine learning and voice control as the key to cost reduction.
Optimizing data across the enterprise will also help reduce cost in the long run– this means measuring and tracking key drivers such as customer and employee preferences and engagement levels, and then leveraging that data to drive smart investments and allocation of resources.
3) Managing risk and enabling value
The majority of the organizations surveyed see “balancing risk and opportunity” as a high priority for protecting value. More and more, organizations are looking to drive innovation but acknowledge that they do not have the capability or tools in place to mitigate cyber risk. Businesses must be laser-focused on protecting against cyber risk while simultaneously keeping up with the demands and preferences of an increasingly tech-savvy customer base.
4) Driving innovation
As stated previously, organizations are attempting to develop products and/or services that enable them to break into new sectors. This will likely result in increased disruption. At the same time, new businesses and startups are positioned to be disruptive as well. In order to stay afloat and competitive, businesses must be agile and able to distinguish themselves from their competitors – existing and new.
5) Future-proofing the business
One way for businesses to distinguish themselves is to ensure the customer needs of the future are a focus of today’s investments in innovation. Having an ‘outcomes focused’ business model in which new revenue streams are continuously in development, is a good way to future-proof a business.
Businesses must be agile, customer-focused, data-driven and forward thinking. It is no longer enough to just keep pace with new technology. Rather, business leaders of today must aim to stay one step ahead of the curve and drive innovation themselves in order to keep their organizations relevant, competitive and profitable tomorrow.
Look out for more insights from our research study Exploring the Future Drivers of Value