GM & COO at Cascade, a top Strategy Execution Platform. I help companies scale up and grow into unicorns. I build teams of teams.
Welcome to the new world of business, where efficiency is the mantra for success. It’s no longer all about mindless growth that benefits nobody. Today, many CEOs are using the magic word “efficiency,” and their stock prices are soaring. But, as the fog descends, some businesses are struggling to navigate through the chaos, and it’s causing real problems for those who don’t know how to find their way.
So, what’s the key to navigating the fog in 2023? I think the answer lies in having full visibility over your organization’s current state, to build a resilient business prepared to tackle threats and opportunities ahead. And business observability is key to achieving this level of visibility. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2026, 70% of organizations successfully implementing observability will experience shorter decision-making latency.
What is causing the fog, and how can we clear it?
In many cases, the root cause of the fog is the plethora of disjointed business systems, processes and tools that many of us have grown comfortable with. This fragmentation just adds more and more fog to the already complex environment. Add high inflation to the mix, driving up costs and lowering margins, and the pressure to compete and win is greater than ever before.
The harsh reality is the fog is here to stay, but that doesn’t mean we can’t clear it. To do that, I suggest to work on a solid business observability approach that will allow your business to be resilient to the changes ahead and bridge the chasm between your strategies on paper and the execution across all business units and the entire value chain.
Why is observability important for business resilience?
In my view, business observability is not just another nice-to-have tool in the business toolkit, it is the essential ingredient that separates the resilient from the vulnerable. Business observability helps uncover resilience gaps since it provides the full visibility necessary to detect and diagnose problems quickly, make data-driven decisions and stay agile in an ever-changing landscape. It can help you unlock a deeper understanding of customer interactions, supply chain and financials, allowing organizations to respond with lightning-fast speed to potential issues.
However, while 97% of business executives in one study recognized the importance of business resilience, only 47% believe their organization is resilient. Costs and data quality issues present significant barriers to achieving resilience, with about a third of executives citing data overload as a key challenge.
This is where business observability comes in. It can help you overcome these obstacles by providing real-time insights into an organization’s operations, alerting businesses of issues before they become critical, and helping to identify the root cause of the problem.
Observability is not just about having the latest and greatest technology. It’s important to take a holistic approach to understanding your business and its operations, with the right mindset, processes and people in place to execute your strategy effectively.
How can companies climb the ramp to centralized observability?
Effective strategy execution goes beyond setting goals and hoping for the best. It requires constant analysis, prioritization, iteration, learning and action. By embracing centralized observability, organizations can achieve a deep understanding of their performance metrics, strategies and financial impact, which can enable them to make informed decisions and take necessary actions to achieve their goals and build resilience.
Here’s how to climb the ramp to centralized observability.
Step 1: Centralize key business metrics, strategies and financial impact.
Don’t waste time on irrelevant metrics. Identify and centralize the ones that truly matter to your business, from revenue to customer satisfaction and employee engagement. Align your teams and focus on achieving the same objectives with a centralized approach.
Step 2: Run performance analysis to enable business cases and prioritization.
Conduct a thorough performance analysis to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement. With this information, you can develop business cases for strategic initiatives that can drive progress. Prioritize the initiatives that will have the greatest impact, and make them happen.
Step 3: Build alignment and relationships between teams to deliver impact.
Build alignment and strong relationships between your teams, and ensure everyone understands the goals and objectives, as well as their individual roles and responsibilities in achieving them. Encourage collaboration and communication to maximize impact.
Step 4: Implement effectiveness measures and strategic initiatives.
Get things done. Implement strategic initiatives that will make a real difference, whether that means changes to processes, systems or organizational structures. Make sure you have measures in place to track progress and effectiveness, so you know what’s working and what’s not.
Step 5: Monitor weekly and monthly progress.
Stay on top of performance by monitoring progress in real time. Keep everyone in the loop with regular updates on key metrics and progress toward strategic goals. Whether it’s weekly or monthly, make sure these updates are accessible to all relevant stakeholders.
Step 6: Report on performance and progress.
Don’t keep your progress a secret. Develop a system for reporting on performance and progress toward strategic goals. Keep senior leadership, board members and other key stakeholders informed and engaged.
In a world of increasing complexity and uncertainty, business observability is more important than ever. It is the light that can clear the fog and enable you to achieve your business goals. By investing in business observability, you can gain the visibility and insights you need to make data-driven decisions, respond quickly to challenges and execute your strategy with confidence.
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