The relentless pursuit of industrial efficiency no longer yields the profits it once did because it requires a level of business predictability that no longer exists. Instead, the Internet and global video and telecom systems provide a massive and continuous flow of data that causes the whole world to behave like a giant stock market, with all the volatility and uncertainty that goes along with such markets. Responsiveness now trumps efficiency.
By being responsive to the evolving needs and desires of specific groups of customers, companies can wrap their products and services in a tailored blanket of value-added services to consistently earn an additional four percent or more gross margin than they would otherwise earn for the product or service alone. This customer and market specialization is the most promising and the most sustainable source of profits in our fluid, real-time economy.
Part of the Microsoft Executive Leadership Series, Sustainable Prosperity discusses the three fundamental process loops that drive an agile enterprise and how they work together to deliver the responsiveness that generates profits in a high-change economy. Providing strategies for innovative and pragmatic use of people, process, and technology to drive operations in an agile enterprise, this book reveals the principles of the agile enterprise, backed by real-world case studies from the author's own experience.
Michael Hugos is a speaker, writer, and practitioner in IT and business agility, and agile system development methods. He writes a column for Computerworld and a blog titled "Doing Business in Real Time" for CIO magazine.