Adaptiveness is key to customer obsession and will allow organizations to anticipate and react to rapid unexpected changes in technology and customer markets


BEIJINGJuly 22, 2020  — The pressures of the ongoing trade situation and disruption from the COVID-19 lockdown have generated a level of volatility that creates both risk and extraordinary opportunity. According to Forrester (Nasdaq: FORR), adaptive enterprises — those able to quickly sense and respond to different external forces — will be the ones to succeed. To help technology leaders reconfigure their businesses and survive these challenging times, Forrester released The CIO’s Guide To Building An Adaptive Enterprise.

According to the guide, the global pandemic is symptomatic of the connectedness of today’s world and the pace at which things spread and change in it. Companies, supply chains, and ecosystems are inextricably connected, and any changes in customer needs, technology, and business trends in one corner of the global ecosystem will ripple across the globe. On one hand, China plays a key role in the global supply chain; on the other, the global ecosystem is also critical to China’s business growth as it is reliant on foreign offerings in key technology areas like chipsets, robot sensors, and industrial design software.

The way forward is to be adaptive and build a firm’s ability to reconfigure its underlying business concepts. The resulting adaptiveness can help customer-obsessed firms win in future markets. Firms must invest in changes through three primary pillars:

1.    Start with market adaptiveness. Firms need to be able to go fast when necessary, but they also need the ability to adapt to changing customer, market, or technology conditions. To achieve this, organizations need to collect and analyze real-time data about their customers and operations to be able to under and adapt to the needs of the market. CIOs must also work with other business leaders to accelerate their internal innovation processes and launch new services that leverage broader ecosystems.

2.    Invest in emerging and platform technologies. Capitalizing on new technologies — and driving technology-driven innovation through experimentation — should be a strategic priority for CIOs. Emerging technologies like cloud, AI, 5G, Industrial Internet and blockchain are key areas to focus on. Companies should also build technology platforms that leverage digital ecosystems and enable end-to-end agility.

3.    The future of work: Improve organizational adaptiveness. Without this third pillar, the first two initiatives will not be sufficient in the fight for market dominance. Implement enterprise collaboration platforms that enable workforce cooperation while also leveraging automation to simplify manual processes. Finally, firms should also revisit employee sourcing and motivation strategies to maintain productivity.

“While the Chinese economy looks to be on the path to recovery, we must be prepared for future crises. “Black swan” incidents like the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to continue to emerge, and the global economy will become increasingly unpredictable,” said Danny Mu, principal analyst at Forrester. “In such dynamic business environments, CIOs and other business leaders in China must build and invest in adaptiveness now, before it’s too late.”


About Forrester
Forrester (Nasdaq: FORR) is one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world. We work with business and technology leaders to drive customer-obsessed vision, strategy, and execution that accelerate growth. Forrester’s unique insights are grounded in annual surveys of more than 690,000 consumers and business leaders worldwide, rigorous and objective methodologies, and the shared wisdom of our most innovative clients. Through proprietary research, data and analytics, custom consulting, exclusive peer groups, certifications, and events, we are revolutionizing how businesses grow in the age of the customer; learn more at