How ‘Future Ready’ Is Your Business? See How Prepared You Really Are.

Seriously, how ‘future ready’ is your business? It’s a relevant question, especially after all the uneasiness we’ve experienced in 2020. Is your business well-prepared for whatever happens in the future? Do you have an adaptable plan for upcoming challenges? According to Vodafone Business, only 30% of businesses had a fully documented and tested continuity plan at the beginning of 2020. Surprised by that? I was.

I was also interested to learn that businesses that are well-prepared for the future all share some common characteristics. Often these common traits and approaches can see a business weather unexpected events or the rise of new trends more successfully.

Several months ago, I wrote 2020 Has Changed What it Means to be a ‘Future Ready’ Business. It was an introduction to the Vodafone Business Future Ready Report. Now, Vodafone Business has developed a tool and questionnaire to contextualize the findings in that report, and help educate businesses through the dynamic exploration of the report’s insights. As a Vodafone Ambassador, I was granted early access to this unique tool.

In this article, I’ll give you a brief overview of this data visualization tool and accompanying questionnaire. By interacting with this data, you’ll be able to educate yourself about where your business falls on the ‘future ready’ spectrum, and you’ll gain a more complete understanding about what ‘future ready’ means (and how to get there).

Click here to check out the ‘Future Ready’ Interactive Tool for yourself

Business-future-ready-interactive-tool

The first thing I noticed when I began exploring this tool is that you are able to tailor it for your specific country, industry and business size. By creating this benchmark, you are able to delve into data that is relevant to your business. I’m the owner of a small Apple-certified technology consultancy firm in Atlanta. As you see below, I plugged in my specific criteria.

future-ready-report-and-tool

Once you’ve entered your country, industry and business size, you’ll be given five different challenges to consider exploring. At the end of each one, you’ll be prompted to go to the next one. For that reason, I suggest starting at the beginning and working your way through all of them.

Each of the five challenges (resiliency, customer behaviors, sustainability, data-heavy world and nurturing talent) are essential to consider on your journey to becoming a ‘future ready’ business.

future-ready-your-business

Click here to check out the ‘Future Ready’ Interactive Tool for yourself

Since sustainability is so important to me, I clicked on that challenge for this demo. My first impression was that the information is presented in an engaging format with lots of moving parts, which I love. But more importantly, there’s a lot of valuable insight in these numbers.

vodafone-business-future-ready-tool

Here’s a quick screen recording of what I see when I click on “Sustainability” after plugging in my specific criteria. 👇🏻

At 4 seconds into the screen recording above, you’ll see that I clicked on a sub-navigation menu, which is on the left side of each challenge page.

I found that menu to be handy. It makes it easy to toggle between the five challenges so you can read the data straight through, or jump around if you prefer.

sustainability-in-future-ready-businesses

Each of the data sets on each challenge page are color coded in 3 ways:

· The ‘future ready’ comparisons are in red

· The ‘all businesses’ comparisons are in dark gray (you’ll see these in the scatter graphs)

· The comparisons based on one of the three preferences you selected when tailoring your data (country, industry, business size) are displayed in blue.

sustainability-challenge-for-businesses

For example, since I entered my country as the United States, this particular data set in blue is tailored based on the information collected for businesses in the United States.

(you can use the dropdown to change the location to view a different data set)

future-ready-business-and-sustainability

For this example, the data set in red represents the data as it relates to ‘future ready’ businesses. It was eye-opening for me to see the differences laid out in this format, and to see the areas of possibilities and potential growth.

You’ll also find a Q&A on each Challenge page. After you choose an answer, you can compare it to others in your own country, and other countries.

questionnaire-and-future-ready-tool

Again, your own country’s data will be in blue, and your answer will be highlighted in purple. Each of the light gray data points represents a different country. As you hover over them, the country name appears, and all of the light gray data points that represent that particular country turn dark gray.

As you see below, I selected one light gray data point near the bottom, which represents China. As I hovered over it, all the data points throughout the graph that represent China turned to dark gray. This makes it easy to compare your own country with others.

how-future-ready-are-you

There is also a scatter graph provided so you can compare the Q&A data between ‘future ready’ businesses and all businesses. Again, the ‘future ready’ data is represented in red.

future-ready-business-stats

Click here to check out the ‘Future Ready’ Interactive Tool for yourself

vodafone-business-future-ready-report

Now I’d like to go back to the sub-navigation menu that I talked about above. There is an important link in that menu that I want to bring to your attention.

It leads to the questionnaire that complements the interactive tool. It’s an important step to discovering where your business falls on the ‘future ready’ spectrum.

The questionnaire is one of my favorite parts of this exercise, mostly because I love online quizzes. There are seven questions to answer.

striving-to-be-future-ready

When you’ve completed the seven questions, you’ll be given one of three results at the end.

The three possible outcomes are:

  • You are starting your ‘future ready’ journey
  • You are striving to become ‘future ready’
  • You are ‘future ready’

You’ll receive a green, amber or red traffic light score to quickly identify areas for growth and improvement on your ‘future ready’ journey.

The full report (which you can download at the bottom of the questionnaire results page) gives you a greater understanding of these six important characteristics. It also provides all the data points around each challenge.

According to Vodafone Business, only about 20% of the businesses surveyed were ‘future ready.’ The good news is, any business can become ‘future ready’ with the right mindset and behaviors.

In doing so, you will become well-prepared for the challenges and emerging trends that arise, and other areas of potential growth. This Vodafone Business interactive tool will give you the insight you need to start or continue your journey.

Click here to check out the ‘Future Ready’ Interactive Tool for yourself

As always, thank you for reading. If you’d like to continue the conversation, please leave a comment or tweet me at @adamsconsulting.

Full Disclosure: This article was sponsored by Vodafone Business

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Tech journalist, Apple ACN, Digital Transformation, IoT, 5G, AI and the future of tech.

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Diana Adams

Diana Adams

Tech journalist, Apple ACN, Digital Transformation, IoT, 5G, AI and the future of tech.

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