The business world is evolving, fast.
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic means that organizations around the world are quickly being forced to learn an important business lesson-keep up with the changing times, or risk being left behind.
To survive, businesses need to refocus on creating processes that are not only flexible, but also future proof. This can be confusing at best times, but factor in an ever -changing global pandemic and it’s nearly impossible.
However, the right set of tools and the right approach will help make the walk impossible in the park.
Think of a actual walk in the park … But one has hills and lots of views. Until now, businesses have focused their efforts on short-term initiatives driven by what they see from the ground-level, or rather, the limited data available to them from that particular perspective.
This approach is great when it comes to driving change on a small scale, but has a definite impact on the bigger picture.
To unlock a whole new set of data available to your business, and use it to drive change, you’ll need better visibility across all of your processes.
Enter, the ‘control tower’ approach.
How does this work
The ‘control tower’ is, at the basic level, a platform that allows you to unlock the true value of your data, get a 360º view of your organization, and make sure you stay well informed with your digital changes all the time.
Continuing one step further than your average data platforms, which are often designed only to satisfy IT, the control tower architecture is designed to meet the needs of your business as a whole.
The result? More seamless integration and better collaboration throughout the company.
That’s important, because to get a good handle on how the pandemic is affecting your business right now, you need to see buo business.
The last two years have had an impact on every department, every employee, and every process. Despite this, we still see real disconnection in the way businesses approach innovation initiatives.
The tendency is for organizations to deal with separate, single systems that are put in place in each department.
This approach has many risks; it can cause confusion when it comes to limited coverage, it’s hard to let any board level changes, and it can be tricky to maintain visibility into what each team is doing, what is working, and most importantly, if what is not.
The control tower approach, which unlocks data and scale, provides a clear, single direction for these initiatives that start right at the top and go down, reducing these risks and ultimately freeing up the potential for change throughout the company.
How to make the control tower a reality
It may seem overwhelming, but getting started is probably simpler than you think.
First, evaluate the key risk components in your business. You probably already have a good idea of what they are. These are the areas you need supervision the most, and will provide an important jumping off point for your strategy.
Next, it’s a case of deciding exactly who needs to be part of the conversation – think department heads, senior management, even board members.
When this is done, take a moment to audit all of your existing systems, capabilities and data sources involved in the key areas identified. Most likely, they will be broader in your organization than you thought. However, it’s important to make sure you capture everything, as this will form the foundation blocks of your control tower.
This is a case of integrating all relevant people and systems with a clear, overall platform. Eventually, you can add more business functions, one at a time, until they cover the entire organization.
It’s simple, but it works.
Take an example from the financial industry. Financial companies are highly exposed to risk. The growing importance of ESG has created a real need to demonstrate complete compliance, and that means industry organizations need to be shown exactly where the funds are coming from, or face large fines.
The control tower approach takes all relevant stakeholders together, then assesses each system and data source that plays a role in supply chain management, compliance, or any other area that becomes important. Then, all of that is plugged into a system like ServiceNow, and the control tower is fully functional, ready to support.
From there, it’s just a relatively simple case of expanding its management as required by business priorities.
A better vantage point with the control tower approach
With the control tower approach, you can completely change the way your business works.
Whatever you want to achieve, whether it’s to streamline your processes, unlock your data potential, or provide a better experience to your employees and customers, a clearer view of everything things around you make it simpler to act.